17:33 GMT10 July 2020
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    MADRID (Sputnik) - Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said on Tuesday that US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull his country out of a 1987 arms control agreement with Russia was a mistake.

    "Trump’s decision on the INF is a mistake that will ratchet up the tension. We do not approve of this unilateral measure," the minister Josep Borrell said.

    READ MORE: Trump Says He Probably Won't Meet With Putin in Paris

    The Spanish top diplomat spoke after a meeting in Madrid with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Borrell told reporters that US withdrawal from the treaty put global stability and security at risk.

    Earlier, Trump said, while commenting on his surprise decision to quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) just weeks before crucial midterm elections the United States, that the US would be increasing its nuclear arsenal until Russia and China "come to their senses." Lavrov, on his part, stated on Monday that this rhetoric aimed to fire up the Republican base.

    In addition, the Spanish official said that Spain was one of the countries most affected by Russia's countermeasures introduced against the Western nations in response to anti-Russian sanctions.

    "Spain has become one of the countries which were most affected by the countermeasures that Russia used in response to [EU] sanctions… But we are working to normalize the situation," Borrell said after talks with Lavrov.

    Last week, Russian Ambassador to Spain Yury Korchagin told Sputnik that according to Russian data, trade between the two countries reached 11 billion euros ($12.6 billion) at the end of 2013, while Spanish data said the trade volume was more than 15 billion euros. As a result of the introduction of sanctions by the European Union and response measures of Russia, this figure decreased to 5 billion euros.

    In 2014, relations between Russia and the West deteriorated over Moscow's alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict and Crimea's reunification with Russia following a referendum. The United States and the European Union imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia's energy, banking, defense and other sectors, as well as on a number of Russian officials. Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations of meddling in the Ukrainian conflict and reacted with countermeasures against the Western nations that targeted it with sanctions.


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