"China has deployed a large number of missiles, well over a thousand intermediate and shorter-range missiles, in the Indian-Pacific region. And Russia did so too, and they did it in violation of the INF Treaty (Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles). So we are committed to develop the same force in both theaters of war", - TASS quotes Esper's words.
He noted that the plans include the deployment of an anti-missile defense system that would "act against this kind of systems, as well as other systems".
Let us recall that for the first time, Washington announced Russia's non-compliance with the INF Treaty, signed in 1987, in 2014. The American side pointed to the creation of the 9M729 missile by Russia. Moscow, in turn, rejected Washington's statements and made counter claims.
Note that in January 2020, NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg announced the country's intention to defend itself against Russian missiles, but not to deploy its own. At the same time, in September last year, the United States announced tests of new high-precision missiles, which are prohibited by the INF Treaty.
As for today's statement by Esper, it should be noted that the deployment of American medium-range missiles will be the first since 1980.