by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday threatened a new nuclear arms race with the U.S. after the Trump administration threatened to abandon an arms treaty due to Russia’s noncompliance.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday the U.S. would leave the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces arms control treaty in 60 days because Russia has failed to adhere to it.
That move raised the prospect of the re-emergence of quick-strike nuclear missiles that were around during the Cold War. And on Wednesday, Putin went on television to warn that if the U.S. starts developing these weapons, so will Russia, according to several reports.
Putin said the Trump administration’s move shows that the U.S. “has to have these weapons,” according to the Associated Press.
He added that Russia’s response would be, “We will do the same.”
Pompeo blamed Russia for the demise of the treaty, and said Tuesday that Russia must admit its violations and “fully and verifiably” come back into compliance before the U.S. can consider staying in it.
“There is complete unity around this,” Pompeo said. “We believe this is the right outcome.”