Europeans will be caught in the crosshairs of any potential conflict between the US and Russia if they agree to host US missiles, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, but there is no real reason to put Europe in such a danger.
The Russian president outlined a scenario in which the US would move to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty and decide to place nuclear missiles at Russia’s doorstep.
“If they are deployed in Europe, we will naturally have to respond in kind,” Putin told a news conference on Wednesday, adding that in this scenario, European nations “should understand they would expose their territory to the threat of a possible retaliatory strike.”
Meanwhile, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg struck a conciliatory note on Wednesday, stating that the alliance is not considering deploying any more nuclear missiles in Europe in response to the alleged “Russia threat.”
“We don’t want a new Cold War,” he said.