Russia says it may be forced to deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe

Russia on Monday said that it could be forced to deploy nuclear missiles in Europe as a reaction to what it perceives as NATO’s intentions to make similar moves. 

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said to Russia’s RIA news agency that his country would need to take the aggressive step if NATO did not better engage with Moscow on how to dial back tensions, Reuters reported.

Intermediate-range ballistic and cruise missiles were banned in Europe as part of a 1987 treaty aimed at addressing Cold War tensions. After years of Russia allegedly violating the pact, the U.S. exited the agreement in 2019, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, Ryabkov said there were “indirect indications” that NATO intended to redeploy intermediate-range missiles, such as the recent restoration of the 56th Artillery Command, which housed missiles with nuclear capabilities during the Cold War, Reuters added.

“Lack of progress towards a political and diplomatic solution to this problem will lead to our response being of a military and technical military nature,” Ryabkov said.

NATO has said that there would be no new U.S. missiles in Europe and that it would address threats from new Russian missiles with conventional weapons. However, Ryabkov said Russia had a “complete lack of trust” in the military alliance, the news service noted. 

“They don’t permit themselves to do anything that could somehow increase our security — they believe they can act as they need, to their advantage, and we simply have to swallow all this and deal with it. This is not going to continue,” he said. 

Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded security guarantees as Ukraine and its Western allies express concern about a Russian military buildup near Ukraine’s border and a possible invasion by Moscow. 

Putin specifically called for “reliable and long-term security guarantees” that NATO would not expand closer to Russian borders amid concerns of a possible attack in Ukraine. 

Meanwhile, President Biden and Putin had a two-hour video call last week in which Biden “voiced the deep concerns of the United States and our European Allies about Russia’s escalation of forces surrounding Ukraine and made clear that the U.S. and our Allies would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation.”

Tags Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty Joe Biden Moscow NATO Nuclear weapons Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict Ukraine Vladimir Putin

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