Putin Says If U.S. Builds Missiles, So Will Russia

(AP-Pavel Golovkin)

(AP) –┬áRussian President Vladimir Putin has warned the United States that if it walks out of a key arms treaty and starts developing the type of missiles banned by it, Russia will do the same.

Putin’s remarks to Russian news agencies on Wednesday came a day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced at a NATO meeting that Washington will suspend its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 60 days, citing Russian “cheating.” Russia has denied that it has been violating the treaty.

President Donald Trump earlier this year announced his decision to withdraw from the INF, which has been described as a cornerstone of global security, accusing Russia and China – which is not a signatory to the treaty – of violating it.

Putin said on Wednesday that the U.S. decision to ditch the INF means that U.S. authorities have decided that the U.S. “has to have these weapons.” Russia’s response, according to Putin, will be: “We will do the same.”

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