Russia’s state-owned TASS news agency quoted a Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on 7 February as saying that Russian diplomats and military will do everything possible to prevent the deployment of US missiles to the Baltic States.
“I will make every possible effort to prevent it,” he said.
“I am sure that everyone who is somehow involved in our foreign policy, defense and security activities will work as a team to prevent a situation that would mean everything that was a cornerstone of European security for decades has perished,” the senior Russian diplomat said.
Colonel General Viktor Yesin, an adviser to the Russian Strategic Missile Force commander and former Strategic Missile Force chief of staff, told TASS earlier that US intermediate-range ballistic missiles, should they be deployed to the Baltic countries, will be able to reach Moscow in three to four minutes. According to him, the time of arrival will depend on the type of missiles and their flight path. “The arrival time of Tomahawk missiles will be about an hour, while intermediate-range ballistic missiles will be able to reach Moscow in three to four minutes,” Yesin said.
The White House announced that the United States was withdrawing from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty as of February 2, setting the stage for the treaty to terminate in six months. Russia has followed suit.
The United States has repeatedly accused Russia of violating the INF — something Russia has repeatedly denied.