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Putin says Russia will produce new missiles and warns of an arms race

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Moscow would produce missiles banned under a key Cold War nuclear treaty that expired last month but would only deploy them if the United States did so first.

Speaking at an economic forum in Russia’s Far East, Putin said Moscow had urged the United States to stop escalating the arms race between the two former Cold War foes, but Washington had not responded.

He expressed concern about the US talk of deploying missiles in Japan and South Korea, saying that their range would reach parts of Russian territory.

Tensions over nuclear arms control escalated after Washington formally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty last month, accusing Russia of violating it, a charge Moscow denies.

The treaty banned land-based missiles with a range of 310 to 400 miles, reducing the ability of both countries to launch a surprise nuclear strike.

“Of course we will produce such missiles,” Putin said, reiterating Moscow’s pledge not to deploy any new missiles unless the United States did so first.

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