Putin orders a 'symmetric response' following US test of missile

Mail Online | 8/23/2019 | Afp;Bryony Jewell For Mailonline
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Vladimir Putin has ordered his Defence Ministry to analyse the threat posed by a new U.S. missile test and to prepare a 'symmetric response.'

The Russian President's instructions come after Washington tested a formerly banned Tomahawk cruise missile on Sunday.

Pentagon - Missile - San - Nicolas - Island

The Pentagon said the missile, which was launched from San Nicolas Island in California, hit its target after more than 500 km (310 miles) of flight.

This type of weapon was banned under the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) agreement, which limited the use of nuclear and conventional medium-range weapons.

Moscow - Washington - Pact - Month - Months

Moscow and Washington ripped up the pact early this month after several months of accusing one another of breaching its conditions.

Today Putin said Russia could not stand idly by, and that U.S. talk of deploying new missiles in the Asia-Pacific region 'affects our core interests as it is close to Russia's borders', according to a transcript of his remarks on the Kremlin website.

Arms - Race - Putin

'As you know, we have never wanted, do not want and will not get involved in a costly, destructive arms race,' Putin said.

He ordered the Defense Ministry and other agencies: 'To take comprehensive measures to prepare a symmetric response'.

Government - Meeting - Putin - Launch - Tomahawk

Speaking at a government meeting, Putin said the launch of the nuclear-capable Tomahawk missile with a MK-41 launcher confirmed prior suspicions that the United States had planned to place banned weapons in Europe.

He said Moscow was against placement of the launchers in Poland in Romania, but the US denied they could be used to launch Tomahawks.

Fact - Violation - Putin - Question - Romania

'Now the fact of the violation is clear, and it's useless to deny it,' Putin said. 'The question is, how do we know what will be placed in Romania and Poland?'

Washington had denied the test marks the start of an arms race as it denied having plans to develop nuclear-tipped weapons.

US - Defense - Secretary - Mark

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark...
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