Russia warns of retaliation when US ditches key arms deal

U.S. signals it will suspend nuclear treaty with Russia after NATO finding

U.S. signals it will suspend nuclear treaty with Russia after NATO finding

US President Donald Trump wants out of the 1987 INF treaty which he believes has been regularly broken by the Kremlin and also rendered irrelevant by China's nuclear weapons programme.

"We need to create a coordinated response to the actions of Russia", Klimkin said, adding that he raised "a set of practical steps with a number of proposals" at the meeting as to how NATO, Ukraine and Georgia might do that together. "This is not so".

"I regret that we will now most likely see the end of the INF treaty, but at the same time we don't have any other alternative than to react in the way we do".

"What will be the response from our side? A very simple one: in that case, we will do the same".

The United States says that Russian Federation is already in violation of the treaty, asserting that it has developed, built, and deployed missiles that breach the ban on ground-launched cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kiloemters.

In turn, NATO foreign ministers agreed to formally declare Russian Federation in "material breach" of the INF treaty in a statement in support of the US.

"Allies have emphasised that the situation whereby the United States and other parties fully abide by the Treaty and Russian Federation does not, is not sustainable", they warned. Russian Federation has denied the accusations.

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Klimkin welcomed the political support he received in Brussels, but said: "We shouldn't just stay on the level of declarations, however strong declarations are".

Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, told foreign defense attaches in Moscow on December 5 that a USA withdrawal from the treaty would be a "dangerous step that can negatively affect not only European security, but also strategic stability as a whole".

The United States warned Russian Federation on Tuesday that it would withdraw from the Cold War-era treaty limiting mid-range nuclear arms if Moscow does not return to compliance within 60 days.

Mr Gerasimov told the diplomats their countries would become Russian target if they hosted USA missile systems in the event of a U.S. withdrawal. "We hope that they'll change course, but there's been absolutely no indication that they'll do so".

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that although Moscow has a last chance to comply with the INF, "we must also start to prepare for a world without the treaty".

Putin on Wednesday accused the United States of making up excuses for pulling out of the pact, saying that the US first made up its mind to walk out of it and only then "started to look for the reasons why they should do it".

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