On Saturday Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia will suspend its participation from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) treaty and ordered his military forces to develop advanced intermediate-range missiles.
In a televised meeting with foreign and defence ministers, Putin said, “Our American partners have announced they are suspending their participation in the deal, and we are also suspending our participation”.
He said that Russia doesn’t want to enter into an arms race with US and will not deploy new missiles unless US does so, but will work on advanced intermediate range missiles.
Putin also said that Russia will wait for US to start meaningful dialogue on INF. He said, “We will wait until our partners have matured enough to conduct an equal, meaningful dialogue with us on this important topic”.
Putin’s remarks came in response to US’ decision to suspend INF for 180 days and then to withdraw from it if Russia doesn’t destroy its missiles and equipments that violet INF treaty.
On Friday, US President Donald Trump said in a statement, “the United States will suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty and begin the process of withdrawing from the INF Treaty, which will be completed in six months unless Russia comes back into compliance by destroying all of its violating missiles, launchers and associated equipment”.
Trump said, “The United States has fully adhered to the INF Treaty for more than 30 years, but we will not remain constrained by its terms while Russia misrepresents its actions”.
While announcing the decision of suspension of INF, US Secretary of States, Mike Pompeo said, “The United States is hopeful that we can put our relationship with Russia back on better footing, but the onus is on Russia to change course from a pattern of destabilizing activity, not just on this issue but on many others as well”.
INF was signed in 1987 at the end of the cold-war era in between then the president of US Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.