News ID: 235297
Published: 0304 GMT December 05, 2018

Putin: If US builds missiles, so will Russia

Putin: If US builds missiles, so will Russia
AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the United States that if it walks out of a key arms treaty and starts developing the type of missiles banned by it, Russia will do the same.

Putin's remarks on Wednesday came a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced at a NATO meeting that Washington will suspend its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 60 days, citing Russian "cheating." Russia has denied that it has been violating the 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 Russia and China — which is not a signatory to the treaty — of violating it.

Putin, in televised comments, said that the US decision to ditch the INF means that American authorities have decided that the US "has to have these weapons."

"Now it seems our American partners believe that the situation has changed so much that the United States must also have such a weapon. What's our response? It's simple: in that case we will also do this," he said.

Putin accused the United States of blaming Russia for violations as a pretext for Washington to exit the pact.

He noted that many countries produce missiles banned under the INF treaty, but that Moscow and Washington had undertaken to limit themselves with the accord signed in 1987.

Russia has denied US and NATO allegations that it is violating the landmark treaty that banned an entire class of weapons.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Wednesday that Moscow has been received an official notice from Washington that quotes unspecified evidence of Russian violations. Zakharova insisted that Russia has always respected the treaty and considers it "one of the key pillars of strategic stability and international security."

AP and Reuters contributed to this story.

 

 

   
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