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Russia will build missiles when the US leaves the treaty, warns Putin



  Russian President Vladimir Putin

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EPA

Caption

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the indictment is an excuse for the US to abandon the treaty

Russia will develop rockets that will be banned in the Cold War if the US leaves the pact, warned President Vladimir Putin.

His remarks follow Tuesday's NATO accusation that Russia has already broken the Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

The agreement, signed in 1

987 by the United States and the USSR, prohibits both countries from using short range and medium range missiles.

But Putin says the allegation is an excuse for leaving the US for the US.

In television commentaries, the Russian leader said many other countries had developed weapons that were banned under the INF Treaty.

"Now it seems that our American partners believed that the situation has changed so much that [they] must also have such a weapon," he said.

"What's our answer? It's easy – in that case we'll do that too."

US President Donald Trump has previously said that the country would leave the treaty because of Russian action.

According to analysts, Russia sees weapons as a cheaper alternative to conventional forces.

What did NATO say?

On Tuesday, the Western military alliance formally accused Russia of breaking the treaty.

"The Allies have come to an end that Russia has developed and deployed a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security," the statement said.

The statement states that member states "strongly support the American claim that Russia is violating the pact and urged Moscow to return urgently to full and verifiable compliance".

EPA
19659004] Caption

Russia denies the construction of missiles that violate the agreement
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after the release of NATO that Russia has 60 days to regain compliance with the treaty. After that time, the US would cease its adherence.

"In those 60 days, we still have no systems to test, produce, or deploy, and we'll see what happens in that 60-day period," he said.

Russia repeatedly denied breaking the Cold War.

What is the Interwar Nuclear Contract (INF Treaty)?

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AFP

Caption

Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan signed the INF Treaty in 1987

  • The arms control agreement signed by the United States and the USSR in 1987 banned all short-range and non-nuclear nuclear missiles, with the exception of naval weapons.
  • The US was concerned about the Soviet deployment of the SS-20 missile system and responded by dropping Pershing and Cruise missiles in Europe – widespread protests
  • By 1991, nearly 2700 missiles had been destroyed
  • Both Countries were allowed to inspect the other's installations
  • In 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that the treaty no longer served the interests of Russia.
  • The move took place after the US withdrew its missile defense contract in 2002.

In 2014, US President Barack Obama accused Russia of violating the INF's contract for allegedly testing a ground-based cruise missile.

He has reportedly decided not to withdraw from the treaty under pressure from European leaders who said such a move could restart an arms race.

The last time the US withdrew from a major arms deal, President George W. Bush pulled the US out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which banned weapons that were supposed to fight ballistic nuclear missiles.

The fact that his government set up a missile shield in Europe alarmed the Kremlin and was rejected by the Obama administration in 2009. It was replaced in 2016 by a modified defense system.


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