The U.S. might deploy ground-based Tomahawk cruise missiles in Europe in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), Lt. Gen. Valery Dementyev, a former first deputy chief of armaments in the Russian armed forces, told Interfax-AVN on June 5.
"They [the Americans] are saying that Russia has allegedly withdrawn from the INF Treaty and therefore they are free to act," Dementyev, who took part in the inauguration of a museum at the NPO Mashinostroyenia military industrial corporation in Reutov outside Moscow on Friday, said in commenting on a statement by U.S. officials accusing Russia of violating the INF Treaty and declaring their intention to deploy U.S. missiles in Europe.
Russia could respond to this by more active deployment of Iskander short-range ballistic missile systems near European countries' borders, he said.
The U.S. had in the past deployed its Pershing intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Europe, "and we pulled there our Pioner intermediate-range missiles, and the Americans cleared off right away," he said.
"If they put their cruise missiles in Europe, we will deploy our Iskanders more broadly," Dementyev said. "But this is an arms race. This is a tragedy. After all, we don't want to enter a race," he said.
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