Nuclear Deal Pullout: Russia Follows Suit In ‘Tit-For-Tat’

James Kirk
Author James Kirk
Collection #StoriaNews

Russia has announced it is suspending participation in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty – one day after the US declared it would pull out of the agreement unless Moscow complies with its terms within 180 days.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the decision on Saturday, according to the Kremlin's official website, reports CNN.

Putin held a special meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu following Friday's decision by the US to suspend compliance with the INF treaty, a key pact with Russia that has been the cornerstone of European security since the Cold War.

"We will proceed as follows. We will have a tit-for-tat response. American partners have announced that they are suspending their participation in the treaty, so we are suspending ours as well," said Putin, according to the website.

"They announced that they are engaged in research & technological development work, and we will do the same."

US President Donald Trump and his senior officials had been hinting for months that they were ready to pull out of the INF treaty, which the US accuses Moscow of violating since 2014. Moscow has consistently rejected those accusations.

While Putin emphasized that he did not want to start a new arms race, the Russian President also announced his support for a proposal to start building a new medium-range supersonic nuclear missile.

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