17:53 GMT28 November 2020
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    US President Donald Trump earlier announced that Washington would be withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, citing alleged violations by Moscow. Russia has firmly denied the accusations and expressed regret at the decision.

    Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that the US is currently in talks with its EU partners over Washington's decision to withdraw from the INF Treaty.

    "We are in consultations with our European counterparts, I was speaking about it the day before with the German defense minister, and so as I said the consultations continue," Mattis said.

    During his visit to Prague, Mattis met with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who labeled the planned cancellation of the INF Treaty "bad news" and urged for better communication with Russia.

    "It is certainly bad news, we regret that. [U.S-Russian] relations are not ideal, we are returning to Cold War times," he said.

    Previously, Reuters reported that European envoys to NATO had tried to persuade the US during a closed-door meeting to make "a last-ditch effort" and stay in the INF rather than withdrawing from it. Their calls have so far yielded no effect.

    READ MORE: Macron Stresses Importance of INF Treaty for EU Security in Call With Trump

    Several EU countries, such as France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Spain, have expressed concern at the possible ramifications of the termination of the INF Treaty. In particular, Paris has stressed that the INF plays a crucial role in European security and stability, while Berlin urged Washington and Moscow to engage in a constructive dialogue in regards to the treaty and to ensure a verifiable implementation of it.

    Russia has expressed concern in regards to President Donald Trump's announcement that Washington would be withdrawing from the INF Treaty. Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that in the absence of arms control treaties, a new arms race could begin. Furthermore, he warned the US against deploying missiles in Europe, promising a "swift and adequate response."


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    nuclear weapons, Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), arms race, Jim Mattis, European Union, Germany, US, Russia, France
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