Putin to target US if missiles deployed to Europe

US President Donald Trump and and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. (Reuters pic)

MOSCOW: Russia will respond to any deployment of intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe by targeting not only the countries where those missiles are stationed, but the United States itself, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

In his annual address to parliament, Putin said Russia was not seeking confrontation and would not take the first step to deploy missiles in response to the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

But he said that Russia’s reaction to any deployment would be resolute and that US policy-makers should calculate the risks before taking any steps.