Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said the United States’ testing of a new missile – which had been banned under a now-defunct arms treaty – raises new threats for Russia and will warrant a response.
The Pentagon announced on Monday that the military conducted a test of a ground-based version of a Navy Tomahawk cruise missile, which accurately struck its target more than 310 miles away.
For Russia, Putin said, the test means “the emergence of new threats, to which we will react accordingly.”
Putin made the comment after talks with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto. He argued that the test indicated the U.S. began working on the missile long before declaring its intention to withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which banned such weapons.
Signed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the INF was responsible for the elimination of 2,692 U.S. and Soviet Union nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic cruise missiles. The treaty also banned land-based missiles with a range between 310 and 3,410 miles.
The Trump administration scrapped the treaty earlier this month after determining that Russia was in “material breach of the treaty” and made no effort to “come back into compliance” with the agreement, a senior White House official said.
That followed Putin’s move last month signing a bill that formalized Russia’s withdrawal from the treaty. The U.S. gave notice of its intention to withdraw from the pact in February, with President Trump saying Russia had been violating it “for many years.”
Fox News’ Lukas Mikelionis, Talia Kaplan, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.