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By Linda Givetash and Reuters
President Vladimir Putin announced Saturday that Russia will suspend a key Cold War-era missile treaty with the United States following the Trump administration’s move to withdraw a day earlier.
“The American partners have declared that they suspend their participation in the deal, we suspend it as well,” Putin said during a televised meeting with foreign and defense ministers.
Putin said Russia will start work on creating new missiles, including hypersonic ones, and told ministers not to initiate disarmament talks with Washington.
President Donald Trump said Friday that the U.S. would be pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, blaming Russia for breaching the pact.
Moscow has denied the allegations while accusing Washington of violating the treaty and calling for inspections of U.S. arms.
The 1987 treaty, signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, bans deployment and required the destruction of ground-based missiles with a range of between 310 to 3,410 miles. The pact mitigated weapons that had become a point of crisis during the Cold War and has been viewed for decades as a model for arms control agreements between major powers.