Moscow An arms race appears to be under way in Europe with Russian Federation making plans to modify sea-launched cruise missiles for use on land after the U.S. quit a 30-year-old nuclear weapons treaty.
Russian Federation vowed on Saturday to develop "new types of weapons" as it suspended a Cold War-era nuclear missile treaty with the United States, which pulled back from the pact a day earlier, raising the spectre of a new arms race.
Russian Federation has rejected the USA claim that it has built and deployed a cruise missile that violated the treaty's ban on land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometres.
Putin said Russian Federation will start work on creating new missiles, including hypersonic ones, and told ministers not to initiate disarmament talks with Washington, accusing the United States of being slow to respond to such moves.
"We must design a ground-launched modification of the sea-launched long-range Kalibr cruise missile system, which has proven its worth in Syria, in 2019-2020", Shoigu told his ministry during a teleconference on Tuesday. The INF Treaty, negotiated in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, was the first nuclear arms treaty to eliminate an entire class of weapons. The United States intelligence community internally calls the missile the KY30 or the SSC-X-9 SKYFALL.
"It can not be excluded that one of the Poseidon with a 100 megaton nuclear warhead will lay low off the U.S. coast, becoming 'the doomsday weapon.' Thus an attack on Russian Federation, will become a suicidal misadventure", the paper states. It was the development of that missile, which the Russians call the Novator 9M729, that prompted the US decision to abandon the INF treaty.
And he said Russian Federation would seek to develop medium-range missiles in response to what he said were similar projects in the US.
But he added, "We do not know whether we will achieve an agreement, but we do know that after two decades of war, the hour has come to at least try for peace".
As a ground-launched, mobile, intermediate-range cruise missile, the 9M729 system poses a direct threat to European and global security.
Axel Goethals, CEO of Brussels-based European Institute for Asian Studies, said it is clear that the United States, in withdrawing from this treaty, wants to have its hands more free to deal with the new multilateral world order. "Over the same period we will also have to create a land-based missile system with a long-range hypersonic missile". Russian Federation said it would do the same, though many suspect they already have the missiles built. He said the treaty will terminate in six months unless Moscow returns to "full and verifiable compliance". Instead of jettisoning such treaties, they must be strengthened to prevent the menace of nuclear weapons from spreading.