SOCHI, October 19. /TASS/. Moscow will give an immediate mirrored response to Washington’s withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club.
"If our US counterparts wish to pull out of the [INF] treaty, then we will give an immediate response, and a mirrored one, too - I would like to make it clear right away," he said.
"We have been abiding by it and will continue to do that until our counterparts comply with our previous agreements," Putin added.
The Russian leader pointed to accusations against Moscow of violating the treaty by developing new missiles. "We may have been tempted to do so if we did not have airborne missiles and sea-based ones," Putin stressed, adding that the INF Treaty applied only to land-based missiles. Since the United States had airborne and sea-based missiles before the treaty was signed, "in fact, it was a unilateral disarmament on the part of the Soviet Union," the president noted. According to him, now "the balance has been restored" as Russia has developed the Kalibr missiles and other similar missiles.