Russia should produce previously banned missiles, says Putin


Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russia should start producing short and intermediate-range missiles that were previously banned under a now-defunct arms treaty with the United States.

Putin was referring to missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometres (300-3,400 miles) that were banned under the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

Washington withdrew from the deal in 2019, citing Russia’s failure to comply. The Kremlin said at the time that it would abide by a moratorium on production if the US did not deploy missiles within striking distance of Russia.

In a televised address to his top security officials on Friday, Putin said the United States had started using such missiles in training exercises in Denmark.

“We need to react to this and make decisions about what we should do next in this area. It seems that we need to start producing these strike systems,” Putin said.

“And then, based on the reality of the actual situation, make decisions about where to deploy them for our security,” he said.

Several Cold War-era arms deals between the two countries, designed to limit a nuclear arms race and cool tensions at the height of superpower rivalry, have lapsed or been terminated in recent years.

Russia suspended last year its participation in the New START treaty, the last nuclear weapons pact between the two sides.

The United States has supplied shorter-range missiles to Ukraine to support Kyiv in the conflict with Russia.

Last month it partially lifted a ban on Ukraine using those weapons against targets on Russian territory, drawing warnings of a potentially dangerous escalation in