Moscow has vowed to restart the development of medium-range nuclear missiles as it mirrors Washington’s decision to withdraw from the 1987 arms control agreement. The split has the potential to incite a new arms race.
Russia will withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday, a day after the United States announced a similar move, dw.com reports.
The decision follows nearly a decade of Washington and Moscow accusing each other of violations of the Reagan-Gorbachev-era arms control treaty.
“Our American partners have announced they are suspending their participation in the deal, and we are also suspending our participation,” Putin said, following a US deadline for Moscow’s compliance.
During a televised meeting with his foreign and defense ministers, Putin said Russia would, for now, not initiate talks with the US on disarmament.
The White House said in a statement on Friday that the US withdrawal “will be completed in 6 months unless Russia comes back into compliance by destroying all of its violating missiles, launchers, and associated equipment.”