Putin warns USA over deployment of nukes in Europe

The Russian President said his country wanted to avoid confrontation but would not back down if provoked

Russia will respond to any US deployment of short or intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe by targeting not only the countries where they are stationed but the United States itself, President Vladimir Putin says.

In his toughest remarks yet on a potential new arms race, Putin on Wednesday (US time) said Russia was not seeking confrontation and would not take the first step to deploy missiles in response to Washington’s decision this month to quit a landmark Cold War-era arms control treaty.

But he said that Russia’s reaction to any deployment would be resolute and that US policymakers, some of whom he said were obsessed with US exceptionalism, should calculate the risks before taking any steps.