MOSCOW, December 21. /TASS/. If the United States deploys its missile systems in Europe after terminating the INF Treaty, Russia will have to aim its own missiles at those systems, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a Channel One broadcast on Thursday night.
The presidential spokesman was asked to comment on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s words about the possibility of a nuclear war following the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
"From the technological point of view, the president meant what he had already explained many times. The thing is that the withdrawal from the INF Treaty may potentially entail the deployment of short-and medium-range missiles in Europe, as was during the Cold War. The deployment of those missiles there and the possibility of them being aimed at Russia would lead to a situation in which Russia will have to target its missile arsenal at them to create parity," Peskov told the "Big Game" broadcast on Channel One.
He added that the situation "would spiral further to repeat the scenario that we have already had in the past."
Speaking at his traditional annual news conference earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned against lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, emphasizing that this would trigger a global disaster. In his words, some "analysts in the West are already voicing these ideas that there is nothing dangerous" about the use of small-yield nuclear warheads.
The Russian leader noted that the global deterrence system is going to pieces. Russia is not interested in fueling an arms race but only wants to keep the balance of forces, he stressed.
The president expressed hope that common sense would prevail. "I believe that mankind will have enough common sense and sufficient instinct for self-preservation to prevent a crisis," he said.