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Vladimir Putin: Russia suspends participation in INF Treaty

President Vladimir Putin has announced suspension of Russia’s participation in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty).

“We will do as follows. We will come up with a tit-for-tat response. American partners have announced suspension of their participation in the treaty, and we will suspend,” he said at a meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday.

On Friday, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo voiced the decision made by President Donald Trump that Washington would suspend its liabilities under the INF Treaty starting February 2 and would quit it within six months if Russia fails to comply with its demands.

Moscow has repeatedly said it retains the right for a tit-for-tat response.

Putin has ordered to abandon attempts to initiate the talks on the INF Treaty.

“As before, all our proposals in that field (containment of short-and intermediate-range missiles) remain on the table, the doors for talks are open,” he said. “Meanwhile, I am asking both ministries not to initiate any talks on that issue in the future. Let us wait and see our partners become mature enough to conduct an equitable and meaningful dialog with us on that crucial issue – both for us, for our partners, and for the whole world,” Putin emphasized.

President added that Moscow has long been raising the issue of conducting meaningful talks on the disarmament issue. “Over the past several years we have seen that the partners do not support our initiatives. On the contrary, (they) are constantly looking for certain pretexts to dismantle the global security system that has already been created,” he said.

Russian missiles of intermediate and shorter range will not be deployed in world’s various regions earlier than the US deploys similar weapons there, Putin told.

“We assume that Russia will not deploy missiles of intermediate and shorter range, if such weapons emerge, either in Europe, or in other regions of the world until such weapons made by the US appear in respective regions of the world,” he noted.

President also asked both ministers to “closely monitor the developments and promptly report about proposals on (Russia’s) response”.

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