War games in Europe

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Putin is preparing retaliation

During a news conference after meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Putin said he wanted to discuss what he called "dangerous plans to repeal the treaty on nuclear weapons and medium-range missiles." ) with his American counterpart Donald Trump.

The two leaders are scheduled to hold talks in Paris on November 11th.

Russia calls Trump's decision to abandon the 1987 treaty, which withdraws short- and medium-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads and launched from land-based facilities or vehicles off European soil, a dangerous step from the outset. . Trump has accused Moscow of systematically violating the treaty, something the Kremlin has denied by returning the blame to Washington.

Putin told reporters Wednesday that Russia would reciprocate, and immediately, if the United States abandoned the deal.

"To answer your question without hesitation, we can reciprocate," the Russian president said when asked what his government would do if Trump implemented what he announced and his country left the INF. "We can, and it will be very fast and very efficient," he added.

"If the US really withdraws from the INF treaty, the key question is what will they do with these medium-range missiles that will appear again. If they are installed in Europe, of course our reaction will be to reflect that, and European countries that agree to host them, if things go that far, must understand that they will put their own territory at risk if there is a blow of retaliation ".

Putin ready for arms race
Vladimir Putin stressed that he does not understand why Europe needs to be put in such a danger and added that Russia wants to avoid this possibility if possible.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg accused Russia on Wednesday of violating the INF, but added that he did not believe the Russian threat would lead to the re-development of US medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe.

Russia has the option of developing medium-range ballistic missiles in Kaliningrad, in the Baltic Sea, something that would put much of Europe within its active range.

Vladimir Putin warned that the world could slip into a new arms race and stressed that another key agreement, the so-called New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), which expires in 2021, is uncertain whether will be renewed.

If the two conditions end up in the wastebasket, "there will be nothing left to restrain the proliferation of weapons" and "the situation will become, in my view, extremely dangerous. "All that will be left will be an arms race," he said.

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