Moscow will deploy new missiles with a strike range over the entirety of Europe if the United States puts missiles on the continent, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. warned Monday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday suspending Russia's participation in the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with the United States, citing U.S. violations. Washington said last month that it would withdraw from the treaty because of Russian violations.
“We are very much concerned that after the decision of the United States to withdraw from the INF treaty, missiles could be deployed on the territory of [America’s] European allies,” Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said Monday.
“We will be forced to deploy our missiles,” Antonov said at the Henry L. Stimson Center, a Washington security think tank, as he displayed a map of Europe. “And here you will see that the whole territory of European countries will be covered.”
The 1987 INF pact banned either side from stationing short and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe and its demise raises the prospect of a new arms race between Washington and Moscow.
Putin warned last month that Russia would not only target the European countries where new missiles would be deployed, but the United States itself.
Reuters contributed reporting to this article.