Vastavam Web: President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused the United States of raising the risk of nuclear war by threatening to spurn a key arms control treaty and refusing to hold talks about another pact that expires soon. The United States has threatened to pull out of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) which bans Moscow and Washington from stationing short and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe. Putin said the move, if it happened, would have unpredictable consequences.
“We are essentially witnessing the breakdown of the international arms control order and (the start of) an arms race,” Putin told his annual news conference with hundreds of reporters. “It’s very hard to imagine how the situation will develop (if the U.S. quits the INF treaty). If these missiles appear in Europe what should we do? Of course, we’ll have to ensure our own security.” Another U.S.-Russia treaty, the New START pact, which limits the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads each side can have, expires in 2021. Putin said he was worried that Washington didn’t appear to be interested in discussing its future.