Russia to respond if US deploys intermediate-range missile in Asia

Russia will be responding with equal action if the United States deploys ground-based, intermediate-range missile system in Asia.

“If the deployment of new US systems begins specifically in Asia then the corresponding steps to balance these actions will be taken by us in the direction of parrying these threats,” Russia Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said as quoted by Reuters.

“The universal MK-41 launch system that will appear, it seems, in Japan can also be adapted to be used to launch medium-range cruise missiles… So these new systems when they appear in Japan will without doubt also be taken into account during our corresponding planning,” he added.

The Russian official’s statement was made after United States Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper said in interview en route to Sydney, Australia on August 2 that he prefers the deployment of ground-based, intermediate-range missiles in Asia within months.

Esper’s statement was made after the United States effectively withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

However, Esper did not specify to which country the deployment will be made.

“I wouldn’t speculate because all those things depend on our plans. Those are things we – you always discuss with your allies,” he said.

“There’s a number of factors that weigh in there, so I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We need to first focus on programs and getting the systems right,” he added.