Putin: If US develops banned missiles, so will Russian Federation

Putin: If US develops banned missiles, so will Russian Federation

Putin: If US develops banned missiles, so will Russian Federation

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave Russian Federation a 60-day deadline on December 4, to come into compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

The United States warned Russian Federation on Tuesday that it would withdraw from the Cold War-era treaty limiting mid-range nuclear arms if Moscow does not return to compliance within 60 days.

Pompeo on Tuesday said that the U.S. would suspend its adherence to the INF Treaty in 60 days unless Russian Federation returns to full compliance with the agreement. In March, Vladimir Putin described the new release of weapons as the country's response to the decision from the U.S. in 2002 to pull out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and develop its global defence capabilities.

Mr Putin also said he would be forced to retaliate if the USA presses ahead with its threat of exiting the INF treaty.

President Donald Trump earlier this year announced his decision to withdraw from the INF, which has been described as a cornerstone of global security, accusing Russian Federation and China - which is not a signatory to the treaty - of violating it. The withdrawal will be effective six months after an official notice is served.

The State Department said in a statement Tuesday that it had provided Moscow with "more than enough information for Russian Federation to engage substantively on the issue". "It makes no sense for the United States to remain in a treaty that constrains our ability to respond to Russia's violations".

Putin in March described the new arms as Russia's response to the USA decision in 2002 to pull out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and develop its global defense shield.

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"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.

China, in particular, has developed a formidable arsenal of short- and mid-range missiles which the United States can not deploy under the treaty.

Russian Federation has denied that it has been violating the treaty. American officials attempted to bring China into the treaty on three occasions, failing each time. "I remind you that this year the U.S. Congress, before the intention to exit the treaty was announced, has allocated money for research and development of those missiles".

"If we do not, we will get cheated by other nations, expose Americans to greater risk, and squander our credibility", Pompeo said.

In Moscow on Wednesday, Putin told journalists the U.S. 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.

USA allies lobbied Pompeo to provide the 60-day window, hoping that a diplomatic solution can be secured during that time.

Noting that Ukraine is not a member of NATO, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the allies already "provide strong political support and strong practical support. A simple one: we will also do this", Putin said.

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