Putin says if USA starts developing intermediate-range missiles, so will Russian Federation

Putin says if USA starts developing intermediate-range missiles, so will Russian Federation

Putin says if USA starts developing intermediate-range missiles, so will Russian Federation

At a meeting with fellow NATO foreign ministers on Tuesday, Pompeo said that the USA would withdraw from the deal within 60 days if Moscow does not dismantle missiles that Washington says violate it. NATO said it was now "up to Russia" to save the treaty.

"Our nations have a choice".

Mr Trump wants to pull the U.S. out of the 1987 Immediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which he claims has been regularly broken by Moscow and also rendered irrelevant by China's nuclear weapons programme.

He warned the world to take heed of Russia's hypersonic missile capabilities as USA president Donald Trump threatens to pull out of the Soviet-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

Pompeo said Russian Federation had developed "multiple battalions of the SSC-8 missiles", referring to the land-based, intermediate-range cruise missile which also has the name of Novator 9M729.

But Mr Putin says the accusation is a pretext for the United States to leave the pact.

In Moscow on Wednesday, Putin told journalists the United States had provided "no evidence" of Russian violations, and threatened an arms race if the USA sought to develop new medium-range missiles after exiting the treaty.

Russian Federation denies undertaking any such development of land-based, intermediate-range Cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads and hitting European cities at short notice. "It is now up to Russian Federation to preserve the INF Treaty", the statement says.

Pompeo said the United States would welcome it if Russian Federation destroys that program within the next two months and then complies with the INF Treaty's terms.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after the decision that the United States would suspend its treaty obligations in 60 days over the alleged violations. In March, Vladimir Putin described the new release of weapons as the country's response to the decision from the USA in 2002 to pull out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and develop its global defence capabilities.

The Trump administration has complained of Moscow's deployment of Novator 9M729 missiles, which Washington says fall under the treaty's ban on missiles that can travel distances of up to 5,500 kilometres.

The United States remains in compliance with the treaty, according to the Department of State.

"This was really arms control at its best and therefore it's a really a big setback if this treaty now breaks totally down", he said.

The ministers called on Russian Federation "to return urgently to full and verifiable compliance".

"It is illogical. It is risky as instead of discussing development goals we will find ourselves back in a situation of armed confrontation".

"The INF has guaranteed peace and security in European territory for 30 years now", Mogherini said as she arrived for talks with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation foreign ministers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country will begin developing nuclear weapons, which he says the U.S.is already doing.

Klimkin welcomed the political support he received in Brussels, but said: "We shouldn't just stay on the level of declarations, however strong declarations are".

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