By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday directed his country’s Foreign and Defense Ministries "to take comprehensive measures for preparing a symmetrical response" to the U.S. missile test.
On Monday, the Pentagon had announced that the U.S. military has conducted a test of a ground-based version of Navy Tomahawk cruise missile.
At a Russian Security Council meeting in the capital Moscow, Putin stressed the use of weapons forbidden under the defunct Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the use of the MK-41 universal launcher "fully confirms the validity of the claims that the Russian side had conveyed to the U.S. during the period of the treaty".
He also added that the deployment of the U.S. launchers on land, at the air defense base in Romania, and their forthcoming deployment in Poland are "a direct, significant and gross violation of the INF Treaty".
"Taking into account the new circumstances, I instruct the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation, the Foreign Ministry, and other relevant institutions to analyze the threat level posed by the above-mentioned actions of the United States to our country, and to take comprehensive measures to prepare a symmetrical response," Putin said.
Putin said Russia does not want to get involved in “costly and destructive” arms race for its economy.
On Aug. 2, the U.S. formally withdrew from the INF Treaty, following a months-long war of words between Moscow and Washington.
The treaty was signed in 1987 by then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan, reducing the chances of a nuclear war in Europe.
Under the treaty, both sides destroyed the whole class of intermediate- and short-range missiles in a span of four years.