Russia to pull plug on nuclear arms pact after US does same

"Our American partners announced that they are suspending their participation in the treaty, and we are suspending it too", Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday, according to the BBC.

Brokered by USA president Ronald Reagan with last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the treaty ended a superpower buildup of warheads that had frightened Europeans.

"We will wait until our partners have matured enough to conduct an equal, meaningful dialogue with us on this important topic", the president said. It covered deployed and non-deployed ground-based short-range missiles (from 500 to 1,000 kilometers) and intermediate-range missiles (from 1,000 to 5,500 kilometers). NATO allies have strongly backed Washington and urged Moscow to save the treaty by returning to compliance.

Trump said he would like to "get everybody in a big and handsome room and do a new treaty", but in the meantime, the United States "can't be put at a disadvantage".

But Moscow has long insisted it does not violate the agreement, and last month invited reporters and foreign military attaches to a briefing on the disputed weapons system. He ordered the development of new land-based intermediate-range weapons, but emphasized that Russian Federation won't deploy them in the European part of the country or elsewhere unless the US does so. He ordered the development of new land-based intermediate-range weapons, but emphasized that Russian Federation won't deploy them in the European part of the country or elsewhere unless the US does so.


Russia's foreign minister said the USA withdrawal from the pivotal pact has further upset strategic stability.

European nations fear the treaty's collapse could lead to a new arms race with possibly a new generation of USA nuclear missiles stationed on the continent.

During the meeting with Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States of violating the INF and other arms deals, including the non-proliferation treaty. The US accused Russian Federation of violating the treaty for the first time in July 2014.

NATO earlier said that United States allies "fully support" its withdrawal and agreed that Russia's 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile systems, whose range is the cause of U.S. concerns, violated the treaty.

"The character and the timing of the works provide an irrefutable proof that the US administration had made a decision to pull out of the INF treaty years before making unfounded claims of Russian violations", it said.


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