Vladimir Putin has warned Europe, any country accepting new US nukes on its territory risk a retaliatory strike from Moscow.
The Russian president was responding to US President, Donald Trump’s comments on Sunday (October 21) for the US to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which has been credited with ending the arms race between the States and the Soviet Union at the back end of the Cold War.
Putin said the Kremlin’s response to Trump’s promise to stockpile nuclear weapons against Russia and China would be ‘very quick and effective’ and ‘there would be nothing left except an arms race.’
He said at a news conference:
If the United States does withdraw from the INF treaty, the main question is what they will do with these newly available missiles?
If they are supplied to Europe, then of course we will have to respond in kind, and the European countries that agree to this – if things come to this – should understand that they will be subjecting their own territory to the threat of a possible retaliatory strike.
The last we heard of the president was when he tested out a new weapon at the Patriot Park in Moscow, back in September.
Lining up with a Kalashnikov-designed, Chukavin sniper rifle, known as the SVCh-308, he took five shots at a static target at a distance of 1,968 feet. Three of his five shots were accurate enough to kill, apparently hitting the head, liver and abdomen of the target. The other two shots missed.
The video showed Putin sitting at a table on a rifle range, in his suit and tie, with ear defenders and safety goggles on, taking aim with the deadly weapon. It came just days after Russia was linked yet again to events in Salisbury.
On Sunday, September 16, Alex King, 42, and his wife, Anna Shapiro, 30, were taken to hospital after they claimed they’d been poisoned by the Russian state in a restaurant.
However, according to police sources, the latest incident may be investigated as a ‘hoax’. Mr King is a convicted criminal and once hoaxed Prince Charles, according to the BBC.
Wiltshire police have since confirmed the couple were not exposed to any nerve agent, and authorities are not linking the incident with the recent poisonings in the city.
However, given the events in Salisbury earlier this year, a full investigation is underway. Both Mr King and Ms. Shapiro wer, however, discharged from hospital after testing negative for any poisons.
Back in March this year, Russian ex-spy, Sergei Skripal, along with his daughter Yulia, were hospitalised after collapsing outside a restaurant in Salisbury after being exposed to the nerve agent, Novichok.
Both Sergei and Yulia survived after weeks in hospital. However, in June, two residents fell ill after being exposed to the same nerve agent. 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess died as a result.
The UK government has recently accused two Russian men, filmed on CCTV in Salisbury at the time of the suspected attack, of trying to kill the Skripals.
However, in an interview on a Russian state-run news channel, the men – Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov – claimed they were tourists in the city, and denied any involvement in the incident.
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