MOSCOW, Dec. 21 — If the United States deploys its missile systems in Europe after terminating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russia will have to aim its own missiles at those systems, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday night.
In an interview with Russia’s state-run television Channel One, the presidential spokesman was asked to comment on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s words about the possibility of a nuclear war following the U.S. withdrawal from the treaty.
At an annual press conference on Thursday, Putin warned against lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, saying that it would trigger a global disaster.
“The president meant what he has repeatedly explained. The deployment of these missiles in Europe and their aiming or potential aiming at Russia would lead to Russia aiming its missile arsenal at these missile launchers in order to create parity,” Peskov said.
He added that the situation “would spiral further to repeat the scenario that we have already had in the past.”
The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 between the Soviet Union and the United States on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles.
The deal marked the first-ever pact reached by Washington and Moscow on nuclear disarmament and a major step forward in restricting the arms race.
Moscow and Washington have accused each other of violating the agreement in recent years amid increasing tensions between the two countries.