Russian Federation follows USA in suspending nuclear treaty

He was speaking after the United States announced on Friday that it was pulling the plug on the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty over alleged Russian violations.

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

President Donald Trump said Friday that Washington was suspending its obligations under the INF treaty and starting a process to withdraw in six months.

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

The US has accused Russian Federation of developing and deploying a ground-based cruise missile that violates provisions of the pact that ban production, testing and deployment of land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometres.

It banned ground-launched missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (300 to 3,400 miles).

The deal resolved a crisis over Soviet nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles targeting Western capitals, but put no restrictions on other major military actors such as China.

Putin said Russian Federation would not deploy its weapons in Europe and other regions unless the United States did so. NATO allies have strongly backed Washington and urged Moscow to save the treaty by returning to compliance.

But Moscow has long insisted it does not violate the agreement, and last month invited reporters and foreign military attaches to a briefing on the disputed weapons system.

Mr Lavrov said that Washington has ignored Russia's offer to inspect a cruise missile that the U.S. claimed violated the pact.

The foreign minister said Russian Federation had "tried everything to save the treaty" in several rounds of diplomatic talks.

The Russian president's comment comes after on 1 March a year ago Putin said during his annual address to the Russian upper house that Moscow had developed a number of strategic weapons, including Avangard and Kinzhal hypersonic missile systems, underwater drone Poseidon and laser weapon Peresvet. He ordered the development of new land-based intermediate-range weapons, but emphasized that Russian Federation won't deploy them in the European part of the country or elsewhere unless the US does so. Russian Federation denies violating the treaty. According to the statement made by the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang released on Saturday, Beijing regrets Washington's decision to suspend its liabilities under the Treaty.

Putin has previously threatened to develop nuclear missiles banned under the INF treaty if it is scrapped. 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.

  • Joey Payne