Putin: Russia Will Target Nations Hosting U.S. Missiles
In threats echoing from the Soviet Cold War era, Russia has threatened any country in Europe that decides to host U.S. nuclear missiles previously banned under the INF treaty. “If they are deployed in Europe, we will naturally have to respond in kind. The European nations would agree to that should understand that they would expose their territory to the threat of a possible retaliatory strike. These are obvious things,” declared Putin. Underscoring key aspects of nuclear deterrence strategies, Putin further emphasized that any retaliation would be automatic and that it would not be “their choice…we don’t want it.” NATO’s Secretary General announced that such deployments are currently unlikely, while qualifying the statement saying “we will, of course, assess the implications for NATO allies, for our security of the new Russian missiles and the Russian behavior. But I don’t foresee that [NATO] allies will station more nuclear weapons in Europe as a response to the new Russian missile.” Russia has rejected NATO claims regarding violation of the INF treaty, claims that form the basis of American withdrawal from the treaty. These topics will likely be discussed in November as part of Trump and Putin’s upcoming time together in Paris, marking the 100-year anniversary of the armistice ending World War I.