The Latest: Putin says if US builds missiles, so will Russia
MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on US-Russian confrontations over a key arms treaty (all times local):
Russian President Vladimir Putin has 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 to Russian news agencies on Wednesday came a day after U.S. 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 said on Wednesday that the U.S. decision to ditch the INF means that U.S. authorities have decided that the U.S. “has to have these weapons.” Russia’s response, according to Putin, will be: “We will do the same.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry says it has received official notification from the United States that it intends to walk out of a key Cold War-era treaty.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced at a NATO meeting Tuesday that Washington would suspend its obligations under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 60 days due to Russia’s alleged “cheating.”
Russia has denied U.S. 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.”