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Putin Says US Withdrawal from INF ’Grave Mistake’, Creates Risk of Nuclear Arms Race
By Staff, Agencies
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the US exit from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces [INF] Treaty was a "grave mistake" which creates the risk of a renewal of the nuclear arms race.
"We consider the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty, as a result of which it has ceased to operate, a serious mistake that increases the risks of unleashing a missile arms race, increasing confrontational potential and sliding into uncontrolled escalation," read the statement cited by the Kremlin press service.
The INF Treaty, which Washington left back in 2019, was a key element of the global security architecture, Putin said, adding that threats to it in Europe were "obvious" due to tensions between NATO and Russia.
"The Treaty played a special role in maintaining predictability and restraint in the missile-related sector throughout Europe", he said.
Moscow added that Russia was "ready" to take the necessary steps to play down the impact caused by the Treaty's demise.
"We also call on all interested countries to search for schemes for maintaining stability and preventing missile crises 'in a world without an INF Treaty' in relation to the Asia-Pacific region. We are open to joint work in this direction," Putin said while detailing some concrete measures to decrease Russia-US military tensions.
In August 2019 the United States withdrew from the treaty, citing Russia's alleged violation of the agreement's terms.
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