Russian President Vladimir Putin announced over the weekend that it was pulling out of a Cold War mid-range nuclear missiles deal. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Monday his country will develop new ground-based nuclear missiles by the end of next year after Russia and the United States ended a Cold War-era nuclear agreement.
The U.S. and Russia had long taken part in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty that banned ground-launched medium-range missiles with a range of 310-3,400 miles.
The U.S. announced Friday it was dropping out of the agreement after Russia denied that some of its new cruise missiles violated the agreement.
The following day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said it would end its obligations to the treaty, as well. Shoigu charged that it was the United States that violated the agreement and Russia will now move forward with its own plans.
"In 2019-2020, we need to develop the ground-based version of the sea-launched Kalibr system with the long-range cruise missile, which has proven its worth in Syria," Shoigu said, the state-run news agency TASS reported.
"At the same time, they [the United States] are actively working on creating ground-based missiles with the range capability of over [310 miles], which is outside the treaty-stipulated limitations. In this situation, the Russian president has set the task for the Defense Ministry to take tit-for-tat mirrored measures," Shoigu added.
The INF treaty was originally signed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that the U.S. could return to the INF if Russia came under compliance again in 180 days.
U.S. officials charged that Russia has violated the accords since 2014. Russia countered by saying that the U.S. began its violations in 1999 by testing unmanned aerial vehicles that have the same characteristics as land-based cruise missiles banned by the treaty.