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Russia to pull plug on nuclear arms pact after US does same

Russia to pull plug on nuclear arms pact after US does same

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that he chose to change the format of the meetings on the implementation of the state defence order and would personally control the way Russia's new hypersonic missile systems, as well as the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles, are being put on alert. The move was in response to the United States' announcement yesterday that they were pulling out of the same treaty, claiming Russian Federation has repeatedly violated its terms.

President Putin denies breaking the deal and says Russian Federation will start developing new missiles.

"We will respond quid pro quo", Putin said.

After the USA gave notice of its intention to withdraw from the treaty in six months, Putin said Russian Federation would do the same.

Russian Federation would only deploy intermediate- and short-range missiles in Europe or elsewhere in answer to similar moves from the USA, he added. "Our American partners have announced they were suspending their participation in the treaty, and we will do the same".

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the treaty would terminate in six months unless Russian Federation accepts U.S. demands that it verifiably destroy the cruise missiles that Washington claims are in violation. "The US' unilateral withdrawal from the Treaty may have a whole number of implications, China will closely monitor the developments", the diplomat noted. Since then, Washington has been repeating its claims on many occasions, while Moscow has been rejecting them and advancing counter-claims concerning the implementation of the treaty by the USA side.

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Russia's foreign minister said the U.S. withdrawal from the pivotal pact has further upset strategic stability.

"We will wait until our partners have matured enough to conduct an equal, meaningful dialogue with us on this important topic", the president said.

NATO earlier said that United States allies "fully support" its withdrawal and agreed that Russia's 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile systems, whose range is the cause of U.S. concerns, violated the treaty.

"Russia will not station intermediate-range weapons in Europe or other regions until similar US weapons appear in those regions", he said.

"We must not and will not be drawn into a costly arms race", he said.