Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Russia will respond if US scraps INF treaty

Russia will respond if US scraps INF treaty

Russian Federation will develop missiles banned under a Cold War agreement if the USA exits the pact, President Vladimir Putin has warned.

Putin dismissed Pompeo's statement as a smokescreen, saying Washington had already chose to ditch the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF).

Stoltenberg said that although Russian Federation has a last chance to comply, "we must also start to prepare for a world without the treaty", which was the first to abolish a whole category of weapons.

But Mr Putin says the accusation is a pretext for the U.S. to leave the pact.

"I regret that we will now most likely see the end of the INF treaty, but at the same time we don't have any other alternative than to react in the way we do".

"Apparently now American partners believe the situation has changed so much that the United States should also have such weapons".

"What's our response? It's simple".

US President Donald Trump has previously said the country would leave the treaty because of Russian actions. "But experts will understand that the presence of such weapons systems a multiple expands capabilities of Russian Federation, it is multiple in the provision of its security", - said the President.

EU diplomacy chief Federica Mogherini, who met with Lavrov on the sidelines of the 25th OSCE Ministerial Council in Milan, addressed the issue, stating that the INF Treaty must be preserved as it is key to European and global security.

The US and NATO say Russia's 9M729 system, also known by the designation SSC-8, violates the INF treaty, which banned ground-launched missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometres.

The statement said the member nations "strongly support" the United States claim that Russian Federation is in breach of the pact, and called on Moscow to "return urgently to full and verifiable compliance".

Earlier, Russia's President Vladimir Putin also warned that Moscow will start developing missiles now banned under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty if the U-S pulls out of the 19-87 accord.

"We have achieved significant progress in laser weapons", Putin said at the time.

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied breaking the Cold War treaty.

Signed in 1987 by then USA president Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, the INF resolved a crisis over Soviet nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles targeting Western capitals. Much of the information about the complex remains classified, but stated that he allowed Russian Federation to get ahead of their competitors in the field of laser weapons. It was replaced by a modified defence system in 2016.

His administration's move to set up a missile shield in Europe alarmed the Kremlin and was scrapped by the Obama administration in 2009.

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