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Putin orders reciprocal Russian response to U.S. missile test

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FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a joint news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in the Presidental Palace in Helsinki, Finland, August 21, 2019. Markku Ulander/Lehtikuva/via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday told the Defence Ministry and other government agencies to analyze the threat posed by a new U.S. missile test and to prepare a reciprocal response.

The Pentagon said on Monday it had tested a conventionally-configured cruise missile that hit its target after more than 500 km (310 miles) of flight, the first such test since the United States pulled out of a major arms control treaty with Russia on Aug. 2.

Putin said Russia could not stand idly by, and that U.S. talk of deploying new missiles in the Asia-Pacific region “affects our core interests as it is close to Russia’s borders”, according to a transcript of his remarks on the Kremlin website.

“As you know, we have never wanted, do not want and will not get involved in a costly, destructive arms race,” Putin said.

Writing by Anastasia Teterevleva; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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via Reuters