UPDATED 11:20 AM PT — Friday, August 23, 2019
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered preparations for a missile launch in response to U.S. missile tests. On Friday, he told his military to develop plans to retaliate against Washington’s recent weapons experiments.
Earlier this week, the Pentagon said a cruise missile test off California hit its target after more than 300 miles in flight, which would have been a violation of the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty if the U.S. were still apart of it.
Putin said Russia has to protect itself against the U.S. and claimed Americans used propaganda to exit the agreement, so they could increase threats for their own gain.
“How would we know what they will deploy in Romania and Poland — missile defense systems or strike missile systems with a significant range?” asked Putin. “All that does not leave any doubts what the real aims of the United States are — getting clear of the limitations…they freed its hands to deploy the previously banned missiles in different parts of the world.”
Amid the escalation, Putin stated Russia is still open to talks with the U.S. He said he wishes to restore trust between the nations and “reinforce international security.”