Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized US President Donald Trump’s newly announced national security strategy as both “offensive” and “aggressive,” adding that Moscow would take due notice of the stance.
Trump announced on December 18 that he planned to launch a new strategy to overpower Russia and China, which, he claimed, were making efforts "to shape a world antithetical to US values and interests." Trump’s plan promises "a balance of power that favors the United States," according to senior US administration officials.
Speaking at a Russian Defense Ministry meeting with top military brass on Friday, President Putin warned that the "strategy recently put out" by Trump was "definitely offensive" and "definitely aggressive."
We "should take into account" the “America First” strategy, Putin said, adding that "Russia has a sovereign right and all possibilities to adequately and in due time react to such potential threats."
Putin then went on to say that the United States violated the landmark Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty dating from 1987, which eliminated all nuclear and conventional missiles with short and intermediate range and practically ended the Cold War era.
The Russian president claimed "the US is on its way to destroying the INF treaty."
"Let's call things by their name … infrastructure being created there is offensive infrastructure," he said in reference to the US missile systems in Europe.
Putin said American Patriot missiles deployed in Poland and Romania could be used to strike Russia, thus violating the INF treaty.
"Launching systems for air defense missiles can become systems for intermediate range cruise missiles at any moment," Putin warned.