What Happened: Russian President Vladimir Putin has directed the Defense Ministry and the Foreign Ministry to assess the threat level of a recent U.S. missile test and prepare measures for a "symmetric response," Tass reported Aug. 23.
Why It Matters: Putin's comments are the latest sign that Moscow intends to respond to Washington's recent weapons test and that the Russian government is planning to counter potential U.S. missile deployments to Europe or Asia. Moscow could soon conduct tests or deploy new weapon systems in either Europe or Asia, while the latter could include some level of Chinese participation.
Background: Washington withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty on Aug. 2 after accusing Moscow of non-compliance with the treaty. The two countries signed the agreement in 1987 to outlaw intermediate-range and short-range ground-based missiles.
- The U.S. Will Find Few Takers in the Western Pacific for Its Missiles (Aug. 21, 2019)
- Russia's New Arms Give the U.S. Room for Pause (Aug. 16, 2019)
- The Sun Sets on an Arms Control Treaty (Aug. 2, 2019)