Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Putin warns of ‘new arms race’

Putin warns of ‘new arms race’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
US President Donald Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin attend a joint press conference after a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, on July 16. AFP

Putin warns of ‘new arms race’

President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday of a new arms race if the US pulls out of weapons treaties, and said Russia would respond “in kind” to any new US missiles placed on European soil.

At the weekend, US President Donald Trump sparked concerns globally when he said he would ditch a key Cold War-era nuclear weapons pact, the three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

Speaking after hosting Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton on Tuesday, Putin warned that abandoning the treaty, and failure to extend another key arms control agreement known as the New Start, would unleash a new arms race and put Europe in danger.

Putin said dismantling a global arms control system was “very dangerous,” adding Russia was concerned about the fact that the US had already abandoned the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, planned to ditch the INF, and that the future of the New Start was unclear.

“There would be nothing left except an arms race,” he said at a news conference after talks with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

The Russian president said that if Washington moved to abandon the INF and placed more missiles in Europe, Russia would respond “in kind.”

“Will we be able to respond?” he said. “Yes, we will and this will be very quick and effective.” Putin said any European countries agreeing to host US missiles would be at risk of a Russian attack. “These are obvious things,” he said.

Pershings in Europe

“We will return to the situation with the Pershing missiles in Europe,” he said, referring to US missiles stationed in Western Europe in the 1980s.

Putin accused the US of violating the INF treaty which Trump has said Russia is in breach of.

The Russian president said he wanted to discuss the issue with his US counterpart when they attend a November 11 event in Paris commemorating the centenary of the end of World War I.

“We are ready to work with our American partners without any hysterics,” he added.

Italy’s Conte said his country was also concerned about a possible collapse of the INF agreement, adding he would speak to Trump on the subject.

“I’ve already let President Putin know that I was really young in the era of the Pershing missiles and I would not want to return to the time that we have been able to overcome,” the 54-year-old said in remarks translated into Russian.

“We should focus on other prospects of cooperation and avoid an escalation that could be alarming for us all.”

Trump had said the US was ready to build up its nuclear arsenal because Russia violated the INF agreement.

“Until people come to their senses, we will build it up,” he said Monday, referring to the US’s nuclear stockpile.

Trump’s announcement sparked concern globally, with the European Commission urging the US and Russia to pursue talks to preserve the treaty, and China calling on Washington to “think twice.”

Bolton has said that Britain, Japan, and other countries supported the US position.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Kremlin said it was ready to discuss the possibility of a summit between Putin and Trump in Washington next year.

“Undoubtedly [we are] ready,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists after Bolton reportedly said that such a summit was possible.

MOST VIEWED

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures

  • More than 10,000 workers suspended

    More than 10,000 workers at 18 factories in Svay Rieng province have been suspended because of Covid-19, said provincial deputy governor Ros Pharith. Home to 11 special economic zones, Pharith said Svay Rieng has not been spared as the pandemic takes a toll on the global economy. “There

  • Accused not treated equally, says CCHR

    The Cambodia Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) has urged the Court of Appeal to do more to ensure that an accused’s right to a fair trial is fully respected. In a bulletin released on Monday, the CCHR said it had monitored 273 cases at the

  • Investors’ $14.4M projects approved

    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Rubber exports stretch 17%

    Cambodia exported 97,175 tonnes of natural rubber in the first five months of this year, surging 17 per cent compared to the same period last year as the Covid-19 pandemic stretches on, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official Khuong Phalla told The Post on Thursday. Phalla,

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cash handout programme 80% complete

    Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Vong Soth confirmed on Thursday that the implementation of the Cash Transfer Programme For Poor and Vulnerable Households During Covid-19 had been implemented for more than 80% of the over 560,000 families. The programme was introduced one week ago.

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine