Russian President Vladimir Putin Photo: AP pool
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Putin orders Russia to respond after U.S. missile test

23 Comments
By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV

President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian military on Friday to work out a quid pro quo response after the test of a new U.S. missile banned under a now-defunct arms treaty.

In Sunday's test, a modified ground-launched version of a U.S. Navy Tomahawk cruise missile accurately struck its target more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) away. The test came after Moscow and Washington withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

Speaking at a meeting of his Security Council, Putin charged that the U.S. waged a "propaganda campaign" alleging Russian breaches of the pact to "untie its hands to deploy the previously banned missiles in different parts of the world."

He ordered the Defense Ministry and other agencies to "take comprehensive measures to prepare a symmetrical answer."

The U.S. said it withdrew from the treaty because of Russian violations, a claim that Moscow has denied.

In an interview this week with Fox News, Defense Secretary Mark Esper asserted that the Russian cruise missiles Washington has long claimed were a violation of the now-defunct Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces, or INF, treaty, might be armed with nuclear warheads.

"Right now Russia has possibly nuclear-tipped cruise - INF-range cruise missiles facing toward Europe, and that, that's not a good thing," Esper said.

The Russian leader noted that Sunday's test was performed from a launcher similar to those deployed at a U.S. missile defense site in Romania. He argued that the Romanian facility and a prospective similar site in Poland could also be loaded with missiles intended to hit ground targets instead of interceptors.

Putin has previously pledged that Russia wouldn't deploy the missiles previously banned by the INF Treaty to any area before the U.S. does that first, but he noted Friday that the use of the universal launcher means that a covert deployment is possible.

"How would we know what they will deploy in Romania and Poland - missile defense systems or strike missile systems with a significant range?" Putin said.

A Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Robert Carver, disputed Putin's assertion that the land-based U.S. missile defense system in Romania could be used to launch ground-attack missiles. He said the U.S. launch system in Romania, known as Aegis Ashore, "does not have the capability to fire offensive weapons of any kind," including a cruise missile like the Tomahawk variant used in the Aug. 18 U.S. test.

"It can only launch the SM-3 interceptor, which does not carry an explosive warhead," Carver said, adding that it would take "industrial-level construction to reconfigure it to fire offensive weapons. That reconfiguration would entail major equipment installation and software changes."

Russia long has charged that the U.S. launchers loaded with missile defense interceptors could be used for firing surface-to-surface missiles. Putin said that Sunday's test has proven that the U.S. denials have been false.

"It's indisputable now," the Russian leader said.

He added the missile test that came just 16 days after the INF treaty's termination has shown that the U.S. long had started work on the new systems banned by the treaty.

While Putin hasn't spelled out possible retaliatory measures, some Moscow-based military experts theorized that Russia could adapt the sea-launched Kalibr cruise missiles for use from ground launchers.

The Interfax news agency quoted a retired Russian general, Vladimir Bogatyryov, as saying that Moscow could put such missiles in Cuba or Venezuela if the U.S. deploys new missiles near Russian borders.

Putin said Russia will continue working on new weapons in response to the U.S. moves, but will keep a tight lid on spending.

"We will not be drawn into a costly arms race that would be disastrous for our economy," Putin said, adding that Russia ranks seventh in military spending after the U.S., China, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France and Japan.

He added Russia remains open to an "equal and constructive dialogue with the U.S. to rebuild mutual trust and strengthen international security."

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23 Comments

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Thanks, Donny. You've gotten us into another mess without any clue how to get us out.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The circus show continues and the clowns go round and round.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Seriously guys, INF withdrawal talks started under Clinton, continued right through Obama years. If China, which is arguably stronger overall than Russia, why ignore them? ie if China is excluded from the treaty, then it's head in the sand stuff.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian military on Friday to work out a quid pro quo response

And the global arms industries (and their 'financiers') rub their hands in glee knowing a further increase in tension means a further increase in their profits.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Arms race with Russia. Trade War with China. Cold War with our Allies. Homegrown massacres. America is SINKING FAST!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Arms race with Russia. Trade War with China. Cold War with our Allies. Homegrown massacres. America is SINKING FAST!

Dump is the Putin gift that keeps on giving. Allow your enemy to destroy themselves from within. If Russia can't defeat a mighty nation like the US then they made sure that an idiot was elected to office. Somewhere in Russia, Putin is sitting on a comfy chair in front a fireplace rubbing his evil pet cat, sipping a nice alcoholic drink, and smiling every time Dump makes the news. Dump is the running joke of the Russian government and the world. Only the Trumpsters in their bubble thinks anything different.

Well played Mr. Putin!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Arms race with Russia. Trade War with China.

Yes, we can’t allow Russia or China to out weaponize us.

Cold War with our Allies.

Sad, but true.

Homegrown massacres.

That’s been for awhile now.

America is SINKING FAST

Yeah, but not for any of these reasons.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Russia, China and the US are too large and unwieldy to ever function properly as responsible members of the global community. Hopefully one day these countries will be fragmented into smaller entities in a similar fashion to the Eastern Bloc back in the 90s.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Hopefully one day these countries will be fragmented into smaller entities in a similar fashion to the Eastern Bloc back in the 90s

God forbids!! Nationalism of small countries (ex-parts of an empire) is much worse, savage and primitive, then nationalism of big countries (empires). OK, "back in the 90s". So? Remember what happened after the collapse of Yugoslavia? Or a series of small savage wars between ex-Soviet republics? If the U.S., Russia or China disintegrate, be ready for a bloodbath. I hope the Big Three will learn how to coexist peacefully.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

If the U.S., Russia or China disintegrate, be ready for a bloodbath. 

And if they stay as they are, be ready for a bloodbath.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And if they stay as they are, be ready for a bloodbath

Even in the height of the Cold War they managed without it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Russian disinformation....

Putin sounds tough but won't cause any trouble for his favorite puppet; Dimwit Donnie....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Putin sounds tough but won't cause any trouble for his favorite puppet; Dimwit Donnie....

I see... Putin forced his puppet Trump to start a new arms race with Russia... Right, got your impeccable logic lol

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Putin sounds tough but won't cause any trouble for his favorite puppet; Dimwit Donnie....

I see... Putin forced his puppet Trump to start a new arms race with Russia... Right, got your impeccable logic lol

He sure did - what better to distract the Russian people as he and his cronies raid the Treasury and continue to bankrupt the country. Stir up nationalism - he did it once before with his apartment bombing in Moscow...

Come on - I know you know all about Russian disinformation...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

as he and his cronies raid the Treasury and continue to bankrupt the country

I heard that the Russian Treasury keeps buyig gold in record amounts. You call it bankrupt? Compare Russian debt with the U.S. national debt that doubled during Obama's presidency and will spiral out of control in several years. I hope Japan will have time to get rid of all Treasures before they turn into useless paper.

did it once before with his apartment bombing in Moscow...

Usually conspiracy theorists have a more reliable subject - how Bush, Cheney and Rumsfield staged 9/11 to have free hands to start any wars they like.

Come on - I know you know all about Russian disinformation...

Come on, I know you know that after Colin Powell's vial performance at UN disinformation is the U.S. policy trademark!!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

as he and his cronies raid the Treasury and continue to bankrupt the country

I heard that the Russian Treasury keeps buyig gold in record amounts. You call it bankrupt? Compare Russian debt with the U.S. national debt that doubled during Obama's presidency and will spiral out of control in several years. I hope Japan will have time to get rid of all Treasures before they turn into useless paper.

Where did you hear it - Russia Today? By the way, you do know Russia's GDP is less than California, New York and Texas?

did it once before with his apartment bombing in Moscow...

Usually conspiracy theorists have a more reliable subject - how Bush, Cheney and Rumsfield staged 9/11 to have free hands to start any wars they like.

Yep, must be Russia Today....

Come on - I know you know all about Russian disinformation...

Come on, I know you know that after Colin Powell's vial performance at UN disinformation is the U.S. policy trademark!!

He learned it from his Russian counterpart....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Arms race with Russia. Trade War with China. Cold War with our Allies. Homegrown massacres. America is SINKING FAST!

American carnage??? Hilarious.

The positive fallout from Trumps insistence on a normal and equal trade relationship with China is that even if a Dem wins next year there is no way that they will be able to return to the old pre-Trump status quo.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

lincolnman "you see we have a free speech in the US - not government controlled..."

Tell the companies that Trump has ordered out of China about US freedom. Tell the two senators that have been refused entry to Israel on Trump's orders about US freedom.

I don't know if Trump supporters don't read newspapers and follow current affairs or if they don't understand them. Maybe they just choose to ignore the facts. What's the saying about ostriches burying their head in the sand?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tell the companies that Trump has ordered out of China about US freedom.

China doesn’t even know what that is.

Tell the two senators that have been refused entry to Israel on Trump's orders about US freedom.

Being anti-Semitic, undermining the State of Israel, calling it Palestine and the occupied territory has nothing to do with freedom and everything with incitement of the Jewish nation.

I don't know if Trump supporters don't read newspapers and follow current affairs or if they don't understand them.

We think the exact same about liberals, we really do.

Maybe they just choose to ignore the facts. What's the saying about ostriches burying their head in the sand?

Yup, that’s why they lost in 2016 and never got over it. Lol

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

lincolnman: If you're not a Trump supporter, I apologise for my mistake. However, my comment " Tell the companies that Trump has ordered out of China about US freedom. Tell the two senators that have been refused entry to Israel on Trump's orders about US freedom." still stands.

Too many Trump supporters try to run away from the facts and from history but eventually they catch up to bite them on the.... and one liners are no defence to a bite on the ...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"In the appellate court ruling, Circuit Judge Barrington Parker wrote, "the First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees.""

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"In the appellate court ruling, Circuit Judge Barrington Parker wrote, "the First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees.""

But it’s not the Supreme Court final ruling, so he doesn’t need to give it heed

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I see the Left is predictably not cognizant of Trump’s causing Putin to become angry. Still projecting that Trump was Putin’s puppet and not Hillary ( see paid for dossier filled with Putin’s kompromat).

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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