Russia warned that the impetus of US President Donald Trump to withdraw from a historic arms deal against proliferation could trigger a new arms race between Moscow and Washington.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Russia would be forced to act to restore the balance of military power if the United States withdrew from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Power (INF) treaty of 1987 and began to develop new missiles. .
The abandonment of the agreement by the United States "Make the world a more dangerous place," Peskov told reporters at a press conference in the Russian capital, Moscow.
Peskov's comments came before talks between United States National Security Adviser John Bolton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Bolton, who arrived in Moscow on Monday for a two-day summit during which he will also meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, is expected to face intense consultations by Kremlin officials on Trump's plans for the agreement.
The INF, which banned all nuclear and conventional missiles with ranges from 500 to 5,500 km, was signed in 1987 at a Washington summit of the Cold War between the then president of the United States. UU Ronald Reagan and Soviet Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev.
Tensions of the treaty
Since then, Washington and Moscow have exchanged beards for the agreement, accusing each other on several occasions of violating the terms of the historic treaty.
US officials believe that Moscow is developing and has deployed a ground-based system that violates the INF treaty that could allow it to launch a nuclear attack on Europe in the short term.
Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations that it has violated the treaty, rather than claiming that elements of the US missile defense shield. UU Hosted by their NATO allies in Europe they contravene the agreement.
On Saturday, Trump said Russia had violated the agreement for "many years" and promised to abandon the United States' participation in the agreement.
Several international powers, including China, Germany and France, expressed concern over Trump's comments. Britain, America's longtime ally, said it would remain "Absolutely resolved" with Washington on the subject, however.
Meanwhile, in Russia, several high-level legislators and the former leader of the Soviet Union Gorbachev harshly criticized the position of the president of the United States.
Gorbachev, who, as the last president of the Soviet Union before its dissolution in 1991, introduced a series of reforms that contributed to the end of the Cold War, said that the Trump movement "was not the work of a great mind".
"Under no circumstances should we break old disarmament agreements," Gorbachev said, according to Russia-based Interfax news agency.
On Monday, Peskov said Russia remained committed to the INF treaty and would "never" inflict a "first strike" attack. Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier that any Russian killed in a nuclear attack in the country "would go to heaven as martyrs."
Al Jazeera and news agencies.