MOSCOW – Washington’s deployment of land-based short and intermediate-range missiles in various regions around the world will provoke an immediate reaction from Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced.
“It is clear that deployment of American land-based short and intermediate-range missiles globally seriously undermines regional and global security and will provoke a new dangerous phase of the arms race. Russia cannot ignore the appearance of more missile threats to its territory which will be seen as strategic for us. This will require an immediate reaction, irrespective of what missiles will be deployed, nuclear or not,” the foreign ministry said in a comment, marking the anniversary of termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), according to TASS.
The foreign ministry highlighted,
“The only reasonable and <…> justified step forward is to look together for a mutually acceptable settlement of the current situation through political and diplomatic means.”
“Russia remains open to equal and constructive work to restore trust and strengthen international security and strategic stability. We are hoping for a similar interest and responsibility from the US side,” the diplomatic agency underlined.
In another statement (and a possible warning to the US and Western allies) Russia announced it will consider any missile attack as being nuclear in nature, and so will result in a nuclear response.
“Any missile attack will be considered nuclear, because there is no possibility of identifying what type of the warhead it carries, and will trigger a nuclear response,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said in its official newspaper Krasny Zvezda (Red Star).
The ministry added,
“Once radar has detected the launch of ballistic missiles attacking Russian territory, the military leadership will be automatically informed and will determine the scale of nuclear weapons’ use.”
Publication of the procedures follows President Vladimir Putin this June signing a new policy on nuclear deterrence allowing nuclear weapons to be used to repel a conventional arms attack if it threatens the homeland. By specifying that a non-nuclear attack can trigger Russian nuclear retaliation, the procedure appears to warn the US and its allies against any missile attack on Russia, nuclear or not.
The newspaper also said nuclear weapons will also be used to repel attacks using weapons of mass destruction, aggression with conventional weapons, and attempts to destroy critical Russian facilities. Russia has repeatedly argued that its nuclear capability is defensive in nature and that it has a policy of not being the first to launch a nuclear strike.