MOSCOW - Russia will respond if the United States places medium-range missiles in Europe, but this response must be very deliberate and balanced, Yury Solomonov, the chief designer at Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology said.

"There will be a reaction from the point of view of the military-technical response — it is not difficult. Another thing is that this answer must be balanced, not the same as it was in times of the Soviet Union," Solomonov told the Russian newspaper Argumenti Nedeli published on Thursday.

Solomonov also noted that the United States is currently extremely interested in deploying medium-range missiles in Europe. According to the chief designer, while performing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), the Soviet Union committed an "outright stupidity, when "800 launchers for Pioneer medium-range missiles were destroyed," while the United States destroyed only a small number of its Pershing missiles.

Solomonov has been working at Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology since 1971. He participated in the development of Pioneer medium-range missiles, Topol, Topol-M and Yars intercontinental ballistic missiles.

His comments come amid the lasting fro years situation as Moscow and Washington regularly accuse each other of violating the INF Treaty. Russia has repeatedly stated that it strictly complies with its obligations under the contract. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has noted that Moscow has very serious questions regarding the implementation of the treaty by the United States.

In early December, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would suspend its adherence to the INF Treaty within 60 days unless Russia returned to full compliance with the agreement.

Moscow has repeatedly refuted US allegations that Russia has violated the 1987 INF treaty, which bans ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (311 to 3,417 miles). In turn, Moscow has complained that launchers on US defence systems in Europe can fire cruise missiles at ranges that violate the INF’s terms.