Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a news conference in Moscow, Russia, January
ROME - 7 December 2019: Russia will never be the first to deploy medium-range missiles in Europe after the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty ended but will respond in kind if the United States takes this step, Sputnik quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying Friday.
"We will never be the first to deploy this kind of armaments in any region unless it agrees to host similar US-made weapons. This position has not changed," he said after a meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio in Rome.
Lavrov lamented NATO’s refusal to back a moratorium proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on deploying short- and medium-range missiles in Europe.
"If practical steps are taken to build and deploy [such weapons in Europe] we will respond in kind but we will not be the first ones. Americans said they were not going to create a missile of this class but they have already tested one," he added.