Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday urged the United States to begin new arms talks after the collapse of a Cold War nuclear pact between the two world powers.
“In order to avoid chaos that has no rules, limits and laws, one needs to once again weigh all possible dangerous consequences and start serious dialogue without any ambiguities,” Putin said in a statement.
“We are ready for it.”
Moscow has blamed Washington for unilaterally ending the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty reached in 1987, signed back then by US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
The agreement limited the use of conventional and nuclear missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometres (310 to 3,420 miles).
Washington and NATO accused Russia of developing the new 9M729 missile which they say violates the treaty, but Russia says its range falls short of 500 kilometres.
Putin said Monday that if Russia receives information about US development of new missiles, it “will be forced to begin the full-scale development of similar missiles”.
Russia “will not deploy them in relevant regions until American-made missiles are deployed there,” Putin said.
Unless there are new talks about strategic security, “this scenario means restarting an uncontrolled arms race,” he added.