Russia may take extra nuclear deterrence steps if US puts missiles in Europe, Asia

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Russia may take extra steps in the area of nuclear deterrence if the United States deploys intermediate and short-range missiles in Europe and Asia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the state RIA news agency in an interview.

RIA referred to US plans, announced in April, to deploy missiles in the Indo-Pacific region in response to what Washington sees as growing Chinese militarization.

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Such deployments would have previously been outlawed under the landmark 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia which the United States formally withdrew from in 2019 after saying that Moscow was violating the accord, an accusation the Kremlin denied.

Moscow has long warned it would scrap a moratorium it proposed after the treaty lapsed on the deployment of short and medium range missiles if Washington went ahead with plans to deploy such missiles in Asia and Europe.

Lavrov told RIA that Russia might have to take other steps too.

“We do not rule out additional steps in the sphere of nuclear deterrence, because our command centers and the locations of our nuclear forces will be in range of American forward-based missiles,” said Lavrov.

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