Russian Federation will make banned missiles if U.S. exits arms treaty - Putin

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

US to suspend nuclear pact over alleged violations

"Russia has a last chance to show in a verifiable way that they comply with the treaty ... but we also have to start to prepare for the fact that this treaty may break down", Stoltenberg said.

Under the arms control treaty, signed in 1972 by the former USA president Richard Nixon Soviet Union leader Leonid Brezhnev, the number of anti-ballistic missile (ABM) complexes were limited.

Pompeo said that despite Moscow's INF violations, "the United States has remained in scrupulous compliance with the treaty". A very simple one: "in that case, we will do the same".

But Mr Putin says the accusation is a pretext for the United States to leave the pact.

He claims the USA has raised the troubling issue with Russian Federation at least 30 times over the past five years but has been met with continued denials and counter-accusations.

On 4 December 2018, NATO ministers have released a statement concerning Russia's violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

Signed in 1987 by then United States president Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the INF resolved a crisis over Soviet nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles targeting Western capitals.

He cited Russia's recent clash with Ukraine, saying the USA hoped the Russians would return captured Ukrainian soldiers "immediately".

But Trump has threatened to pull out based on allegations Russian Federation has violating the INF Treaty - accusations Moscow vehemently denies.

Russia fully adheres to the provisions of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which the U.S. knows well, Russian Foreign Ministry has said in response to the latest statements by the USA and its allies that urged Moscow to return to full compliance with the agreement.

"In the light of these facts, the United States declares Russian Federation in material breach of the treaty and will suspend our obligations. effective in 60 days unless Russian Federation returns to full and verifiable compliance", Pompeo said. "Let's see what will happen during these 60 days", said U.S. Secretary of state.

"Its range makes it a direct menace to Europe", Pompeo said of the SSC-8, adding that only Russian Federation can save the treaty from demise.

"Now it seems our American partners believe that the situation has changed so much that the United States must also have such a weapon".

"No evidence to support this American position has ever been presented to us". He added that Russia's actions "greatly undermine America's national security and that of our allies".

He also suggested a possible ban on Russian ships entering other countries' ports if Moscow continues to block the Sea of Azov and said he would raise the idea with European Union ministers next week.

The nuclear-capable Russian cruise missiles are mobile and hard to detect and can hit cities in Europe with little or no warning, according to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, dramatically changing the security situation on the continent.

The U.S. will remain in compliance for the next 60 days and then begin the six-month notice period before withdrawal, he said, adding that if Russian Federation comes back into compliance before then, the U.S. could remain in the agreement.

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