10:34 GMT30 March 2020
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    BOCHAROV RUCHEI (outside Moscow) (Sputnik) - Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed on Monday to discuss Russia's steps in regard to the US plans to withdraw from the Treaty on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF Treaty).

    "The US decision to withdraw from the INF treaty, certainly, cannot and will not remain without a response from our country," Putin stressed at a meeting on defence industry issues. "I propose today to discuss our steps related to the possible withdrawal of the United States from the INF treaty. I emphasize again that we are ready to hold a dialogue with American partners on this key issue and we hope that they will regard this with full responsibility."

    READ MORE: Russia, Europe Concerned About Unclear Future of INF Treaty — Kremlin

    In October, US President Donald Trump said that his country planned to leave the INF Treaty, accusing Russia of violating it numerous times, while the Kremlin rejected the accusations, adding that Russia would be forced to take measures to ensure its security if the treaty was terminated by Washington.

    The INF Treaty is an agreement that the United States and the Soviet Union signed in December 1987. It prohibited either country from possessing, producing or flight-testing ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometres (311 to 3,418 miles) and their launchers.

    On Russian Armed Forces and Global Arms Race

    The Russian President also addressed a development of the military forces in the country, stressing that "the situation on the planet has not become calmer."

    "In these conditions, not allowing to be drawn into a militarist race, and using flexible, non-costly for the budget, but effective solutions, we must ensure the steady and balanced development of the army and the navy so that they are able to neutralize any potential threats," Putin stressed.

    READ MORE: Stoltenberg Says NATO Doesn't Want New Arms Race While Siding With Trump on INF

    Earlier in October, US President Donald Trump said the United States was creating a space force to catch up with China and Russia. In September, Moscow warned Washington against deploying conventional arms in space, saying that the international community had to adopt an agreement on the issue.


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    missiles, Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), Vladimir Putin, United States, Russia
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