Excerpts from Vladimir Putin speech on the expanded meeting of the Defence Ministry Board

December 22, 2017

"...we must closely monitor changes in the global balance of power and the military-political situation, primarily near Russia’s borders, as well as in strategically important regions that have key significance for our security. This also concerns the Middle East, the Korean Peninsula, where a high potential for conflicts persists, as well as Europe, where NATO and the United States continue to rapidly build up their infrastructure. As you know, NATO and the United States have recently outlined their defence strategy. It is an offensive strategy, to put it in diplomatic language, and in military language it would be called aggressive. We need to take this into account during our practical work.
Let's be clear: this is offensive infrastructure that is being created in Europe. This is about violations of provisions of the 1987 INF Treaty by the United States, unfortunately. Many in this audience are well aware of what I am talking about.
For example, multipurpose missile launchers have already been deployed in Romania, and are being deployed in Poland, as part of the missile defence system. Formally, they are deployed for interceptor missiles, but the point is, and experts are well aware of this, they are multipurpose units. They can be used to launch existing sea-based cruise missiles with a range of 2,500 kilometres and, in that case, they cease to be sea-based missiles, and can easily be moved to land. That is, anti-missile launchers can, at any time, become units for medium-range cruise missiles.
Another example: target missiles used by the United State for testing anti-ballistic missile systems are identical to medium- and shorter-range ballistic missiles. They are already there and are operational. Their production in the United States may indicate the development of technologies outlawed by the INF Treaty.
Also, the Pentagon received funds for creating a mobile ground-based missile system with a range of up to 5,500 kilometres in 2018. Thus, the United States is, in fact, working towards violating the INF Treaty. They never stop looking for some kind of violation on our part, while consistently engaging in violations themselves, just like they consistently and persistently sought to pull out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which, eventually, as we know, they did in a unilateral manner. Of course, this significantly reduces the level of security in Europe and the world in general".