Vladimir Putin suspends Russian compliance with 1987 INF missile treaty

March 4 (UPI) — Russian President Vladimir Putin officially suspended Moscow’s compliance with the 31-year-old Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty on Monday.

The Cold War-era treaty has been in effect since 1987 but both countries have accused the other of violating it in recent years. Russia said it will send notice to the United States that Putin signed the decree, Russian state run media reported.

“Russia’s compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is hereby suspended until the US addresses the violation of obligations under the Treaty or until the Treaty is terminated,” the decree from Putin reads.

On Feb. 1, President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the United States would suspend its obligations under the treaty, saying Russia has violated it in the past.

The treaty is intended to prevent both nations from positioning short- and intermediate-range, land-based nuclear missiles in Europe.

Pompeo said Russia has weapons that put millions of Americans and European allies at risk. Last year, Pompeo gave Russia 60 days to come into compliance with the agreement.

“Russia has refused to take any steps to get into verifiable compliance,” he said. “Russia has jeopardized American security interest.”

Russian Foreign Affairs committee chairman Konstantin Kosachev responded by saying, “The U.S. has taken another step toward destroying the world.”

Both sides deny they violated the treaty.

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World News – UPI.com

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