Russia suspends nuclear missile treaty after US move

April FrancisFeb 03, 2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that he chose to change the format of the meetings on the implementation of the state defence order and would personally control the way Russia's new hypersonic missile systems, as well as the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles, are being put on alert.

"China opposes the United States' move to denounce the treaty and urges the USA and Russian Federation to properly settle the differences through an efficient dialogue", the statement runs.

The Russian Defense Ministry on Saturday released a satellite image of what it described as new production facilities at the USA missile maker Raytheon's plant in Tucson, Arizona, noting that their expansion began in 2017 as the Congress authorized spending for the development of intermediate-range missiles.

Russian Federation would only deploy intermediate- and short-range missiles in Europe or elsewhere in answer to similar moves from the U.S., he added.

"We have repeatedly, during a number of years, and constantly raised a question about substantiative talks on the disarmament issue", Putin said.

Following the US notice of withdrawal from the treaty in six months, Putin said in televised remarks Saturday that Russian Federation will do the same. Trump's move also reflected his administration's view that the pact was an obstacle to efforts needed to counter intermediate-range missiles deployed by China, which isn't part of the treaty.

"We will wait until our partners have matured enough to conduct an equal, meaningful dialogue with us on this important topic", the president said.

Pelosi tells Trump no State of Union speech until shutdown ends
Moments after her letter became public, Trump told reporters he wasn't surprised by Pelosi's action. "This will go on for awhile". Trump said he was planning a "really important speech" and called Pelosi's move a 'great blotch on the country that we all love'.

Beijing on Saturday also expressed concern over the mutual suspension, calling for the USA and Russian Federation to engage in "constructive dialogue".

Lavrov at Saturday's meeting voiced concerns that Washington's decision to withdraw from the INF could jeopardize the extension of the New START treaty.

President Vladimir Putin has said Russian Federation will follow in the footsteps of the United States and abandon a centrepiece nuclear arms treaty.

Trump said he would like to "get everybody in a big and lovely room and do a new treaty", but in the meantime, the United States "can't be put at a disadvantage".

Putin also noted during Saturday's meeting that he would like the military to prepare a response to the possible deployment of weapons in space.

European nations fear the treaty's collapse could lead to a new arms race with possibly a new generation of US nuclear missiles stationed on the continent.

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