Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the Asia-Pacific region may face a new round of arms race, with the collapse of the Treaty on the Elimination of Short and Intermediate-Range Missiles.
In an interview with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) today via video technology, Putin said, "The region has begun to face the possibility of the emergence of these striking weapons over its vast area, and consequently the possibility of starting a new round of arms race."
Putin noted that Russia's realization of this complete danger prompted it to declare a unilateral moratorium on the deployment of medium and short-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific region and other regions of the world and called for a serious discussion on this issue with all interested countries, stressing that the Russian proposal is still valid. Its importance is increasing from day to day.
It is noteworthy that the Treaty on the Limitation of Intermediate and Short-Range Missiles requires the US and Russia to refrain from manufacturing, testing, or deploying any ballistic, winged or medium-range missiles, and to destroy all missile systems with medium ranges between 1,000 and 5,500 km and short ranges of 500 km.
Former US President Donald Trump announced in early 2019 the suspension of his country's commitments to the 1987 Intermediate-Range Missile Treaty, while Russia confirmed that US accusations of violating the treaty were baseless.