Pompeo: Russia has 60 days to begin implementing the INF Treaty

Russian President Vladimir Putin uses a pair of binoculars as he watches the Vostok-2018 war games

Putin noted that the United States had long ago chose to exit the treaty and was blaming Russian Federation for violations in order for them to serve as a pretext.

Under the arms control treaty, signed in 1972 by the former United States president Richard Nixon Soviet Union leader Leonid Brezhnev, the number of anti-ballistic missile (ABM) complexes were limited. The deal involved the destruction of certain nuclear weapons by both countries. However, NATO later determined that Russian Federation had acted in violation of the treaty.

In Brussels, EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini urged Russian Federation and the USA to save the treaty, warning that Europe did not want to become a battlefield for global powers once again, as it had been during the Cold War.

In televised comments, the Russian leader said many other countries had developed weapons banned under the INF treaty. "What is our response? A simple one: we will also do this", Putin said.

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday dismissed United States claims Russian Federation is violating a major Cold War treaty limiting mid-range nuclear arms, as a senior general lashed out at Washington's attempts to "contain" Moscow.

"The United States has remained in full compliance with its obligations under the INF Treaty since it entered into force", the ministers said in their joint statement.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States will suspend its obligations under a landmark nuclear treaty in 60 days in response to Russia's alleged violation of the pact.

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The U.S. has said it has no plans to deploy land-based nuclear missiles in Europe once it pulls out of the treaty.

While Mr. Pompeo's announcement left open a 60-day window for talks, the dramatic move set nerves on edge at a gathering of NATO's top diplomats, raising the prospect that new Cold War-style arms race could be about to play out across the continent.

"The United States and our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies stand vigilant that Russia's lawless conduct will not be tolerated in the realm of arms control or anywhere else", he said. "We hope that they'll change course, but there's been absolutely no indication that they'll do so".

"Measures were looked at for increasing the military capabilities of troops and forces in the conditions of an arms race, connected with the plans of the U.S.to withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty", Shoigu said, according to Russian-state media.

"No proof has been produced to support this American position", Zakharova said.

"There is no reason the United States should continue to cede this crucial military advantage to revisionist powers like China, " Pompeo said Tuesday.

"There is complete unanimity that the Russian action was lawless and unacceptable and deterrence must be restored and that is a collective commitment of Europe and the world to deny Russia the capacity to continue to violate basic global law norms", he said.

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