VLADIVOSTOK, September 5. /TASS/. Russia will make the missiles previously outlawed under the INF Treaty, but it will not be the first to deploy them, President Vladimir Putin said at a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum on Thursday.
"We said outright that we would not deploy anything after the Americans tested such a missile. We will make such missiles, of course, but we will not deploy them in the regions where no ground-based missile systems of this class of US manufacture have emerged," Putin stated.
Statements by the Pentagon chief that the United States was prepared to station such missiles in Japan and South Korea "could not make Russia happy," he remarked.
"We regret this and feel certain alarm. In fact, it was a subject of our talks with the prime minister [of Japan] many times before the United States started making such missiles," Putin said.
He described the US pullout from the INF treaty as a counterproductive move that was ruining the system of international security and arms control.
Elaborating on the subject, the Russian president noted that the United States’ deployment of missiles in Japan and South Korea would pose threats to a large share of Russia’s territory.
"If US missiles are deployed in Japan or South Korea, we understand that this will be done to counterbalance potential threats from North Korea, but it will create certain considerable problems for us," he pointed out. "Most probably these missile systems will be able to reach targets on a vast area in Russia, including the Far East," he said.
Putin recalled that there were two large Russian military facilities in the area — a base of surface ships in Vladivostok and a base of strategic nuclear-powered submarines in Kamchatka.
"That’s very serious. Certainly, we cannot but pay attention to this. It will be a factor of our talks with Japan and South Korea," Putin said.
For now Russia has no idea of the Japanese and Korean partners’ reaction to this. "We did not discuss that with the prime minister today," Putin pointed out.