Putin says if U.S. builds missiles, so will Russian Federation

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The United States said it would pull out of the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty unless Moscow withdraws a new cruise missile system that has threatened to trigger a new arms race.

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 kilometers.

That stance was echoed by three American Democratic senators who said on Monday that quitting the agreement unilaterally would be a "political and geostrategic gift to Russian Federation".

The United States warned Russia Tuesday it has 60 days to start complying with a landmark missile treaty or Washington could abandon the pact, creating doubts about nuclear security in Europe.

Trump's national security adviser John Bolton had reportedly been pushing to have the USA withdraw from this treaty.

"It is now up to Russian Federation to decide over the next 60 days whether it wants to return to full, verifiable compliance, and if not I fully support the Administration's decision to suspend its obligations under the treaty", she said.

"These violations of the INF treaty can not be viewed in isolation from the larger pattern of Russian lawlessness on the world stage", he added.

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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.

"Measures were considered to reinforce the armed forces' combat capacity and means amid the mounting arms race related to the US plans to quit the INF Treaty", Shoigu told reporters during a conference.

However, Nato allies would have to agree unanimously to have any new missile deployed in Europe. The Russian authorities, in turn, have many times stressed that their country strictly complied with the obligations outlined in the treaty. "We strongly support the finding of the United States that Russian Federation is in material breach of its obligations under the INF Treaty", the NATO foreign ministers said. "We hope that they'll change course, but there's been absolutely no indication that they'll do so".

The prospect of U.S. missiles on European soil is a concern for states including Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, whose representatives have urged Mr Pompeo to continue with diplomacy in fear of a European arms race.

Klimkin welcomed the political support he received in Brussels, but said: "We shouldn't just stay on the level of declarations, however strong declarations are".

Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the US ultimatum was an "escalation of the situation".

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