Putin says Russia will target nations hosting US missiles

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin says the deployment of U.S. intermediate-range missiles in Europe would force Russia to target the nations hosting them.

Putin’s stern warning on Wednesday followed U.S. President Donald Trump’s weekend announcement that he intends to opt out of a landmark nuclear arms control pact over alleged Russian violations.

Putin rejected Trump’s claim that Russia breached the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. He alleged it was the United States that violated the agreement.

Putin says he hopes to discuss the issue with Trump in Paris on the sideline of Nov. 11 events marking 100 years since Armistice Day. He added that if the U.S. deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Russia would have to respond by targeting the countries where the missiles are based.