Russia is ready for US possible attempts to destabilise the situation but will abstain from deploying its missiles anywhere until the United States makes a similar step, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Tuesday.
“Russian President [Vladimir Putin] said on 2 February that, being guided by our responsible approach to ensuring global peace and security, we were launching scientific, research and development activities for creating medium-range missiles so that we were able to repel prospective US missiles, the production of which has entered an advanced stage,” Ryabkov said in his address at the lower house of the Russian parliament.
He went on to note that, at the same time, Russia “will abstain from deploying our units [missiles] anywhere until the United States does it.”
Ryabkov’s remarks come after Vladimir Dzhabarov, the deputy chairman of the Russian upper house’s foreign affairs committee said the day before that Moscow will boost its military force at the country’s western border as a retaliatory measure to US move to send more troops to Poland. The official also stressed that Russia would retaliate if it faced an attack from the Polish territory.
Last week, US President Donald Trump and Polish President Andrzej Duda agreed that the United States would establish a reconnaissance squadron of MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles in Poland and place an additional 1,000 US troops; the move is expected to be funded by Warsaw.
Recently, some speculations about the US plans to set up a military base in Poland emerged as Polish authorities have cited the alleged Russian threat as one of the reasons for its military build-up. Moscow, for its part, has repeatedly emphasised that it will never attack any of the NATO members. According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, NATO is well aware Moscow has no plans to attack anyone and uses the alleged threat as a pretext to deploy more troops near Russia’s border.