Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow has ‘caught up with US missile capabilities’ and will act accordingly if America ditches a Cold War nuclear treaty.
Speaking Thursday at the Valdai forum in Sochi, Putin said Russia will respond immediately if the US quits the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
US officials have accused Russia of creating missiles which violate the terms of the treaty.
Putin also said he condemned North Korea’s nuclear tests, according to The Independent, but demanded the issues be resolved through dialogue, saying:
We condemn the nuclear tests carried out by North Korea.
But it is absolutely necessary to resolve this problem through dialogue and not drive North Korea into a corner, threatening it with the use of force and not to fall into outright insolence.
Last week, Putin warned Donald Trump to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.
The Kremlin warned, should America leave the deal, Iran themselves would be likely to quit the agreement too.
They said the withdrawal would harm ‘predictability, security, stability and non-proliferation around the world.’
According to The Independent, the statement came from Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who told reporters the move would bring about serious consequences and could serve to aggravate the current geo-political situation surrounding the Iranian nuclear dossier.
He assured reporters Russia would still enforce their policy of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, according to Reuters, but the warning comes ahead of an address by President Trump in which many think he will strongly criticise the international accord.
Despite his expected negative appraisal of the accord, Trump is not thought to be withdrawing from the deal, but will implore policymakers and lawmakers to draw up new requirements for Iran if they want to continue to benefit from the international sanctions relief.
The Iranian nuclear deal is an agreement reached in 2015 between Iran and handful of world powers: the US, UK, France, Germany and The EU as well as China and Russia.
Iranian development of nuclear tech began back in the 1970s, but its nuclear capacity as a nation collapsed after the Iranian Revolution – causing most of the best nuclear talents to flee the country in fear.
Despite their statements trying to de-escalate the tensions in Iran, Russia are being slightly more incendiary in the growing conflict with North Korea.
The Russian Defence Ministry said it had test-fired an RS-24 Yars ballistic missile, successfully hitting a target 3,600 miles away.
Officials said the missile is capable of carrying nukes and is their second test in the past 10 days.
Russia’s tests come after numerous test missile launches by North Korea and the US.
According to Military Today, the RS-24 Yars is an ‘upgrade’ from the TOPOL-M class missile which was introduced in 1997, saying it weights around 50 tonnes, measures 20m and can be launched from a ‘ground silo or mobile vehicle’.
They describe the ‘three-stage, solid fuel rocket’ as capable of travelling ‘up to 7,500 miles and carrying at least six nuclear warheads’ which can be independently targeted.