Vietnam Time

5/14/2019 8:54:24 AM

Putin says Russia suspends INF nuclear deal with US

Russian President Vladimir Putin told a meeting with foreign and defence ministers on Saturday (Feb 2) that Russia has suspended the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty following a similar decision by the United States, the Kremlin said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during an event dedicated to the tenth anniversary of the enthronement of Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia January 31, 2019. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS

Putin also said that Russia will start working on creating new missiles, including supersonic ones, and told ministers not to initiate disarmament talks with Washington.

Earlier, the Trump administration announced on Friday (Feb 1) that the United States is withdrawing from a landmark nuclear arms control pact with Russia, a move seen as exacerbating the risk of an international arms race.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement on Friday morning at the State Department, citing Russia's violation of the deal, a claim that has been repeatedly denied by Moscow.

The move, made nearly 60 days after Washington threatened quitting the historic INF Treaty, will start a six-month countdown period, which will lead to a permanent exit from the pact inked in 1987 between the United States and the then-Soviet Union.

"We will provide Russia and the other treaty parties with formal notice that the United States is withdrawing from the INF Treaty, effective in six months," said the top US diplomat.

A senior Trump administration official later told reporters on a conference call that the United States will officially inform Russia of its decision on Saturday.

US President Donald Trump said on Friday that his country will "move forward with developing our own military response options."

The United States "will work with NATO and our other allies and partners to deny Russia any military advantage from its unlawful conduct," said Trump in a statement released by the White House.

Meanwhile, Pompeo said Washington would reconsider its pulling-out decision in the following months if Russia could take actions toward what the United States regards as bringing the country back into compliance with the treaty./.

VNF/Reuters  
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