Oct 27, 2021 16:14 UTC
  • Putin warns new arms race threatens Asia after US pullout from INF

Russian President Vladimir Putin has renewed warnings about the possibility of an arms race between world powers.

Speaking at the 16th East Asia Summit on Wednesday, he said Washington’s pullout from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) could lead to escalating tensions and a standoff in East Asia.

“We have repeatedly warned that the termination of the treaty on intermediate and short-range missiles [INF] means the region is now facing the possibility of these strike weapons appearing across its vast space, and a new arms race as a result.”

Putin had warned former US President Donald Trump against the termination of the treaty, which was signed toward the end of the Cold War in 1987 by then President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It banned all land-based missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers and included missiles carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads.

Putin’s latest remarks came hours after a top US military official said China’s recent reported test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide weapon “is very concerning.” The White House claimed Beijing had tested the hypersonic missile earlier this year, but Beijing denied the narrative. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at the time that the test had been a routine one related to reusable spacecraft technology.