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 announced that the U.S. military had conducted a test of a ground-based version of the Navy Tomahawk cruise missile. Putin stressed the U.S.' use of forbidden weapons under the now defunct Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
At a Russian Security Council meeting in Moscow, he added that 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 stated that the deployment of the U.S. launchers on land, at an air defense base in Romania, and their forthcoming deployment in Poland are "a direct, significant and gross violation of the INF Treaty." He then instructed the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation and other relevant institutions to "analyze the threat level posed by the above-mentioned actions of the U.S. to our country and to take comprehensive measures to prepare a symmetrical response."
The Russian president then claimed that his country does not want to get involved in an "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 INF 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.
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