Moscow suspends nuclear treaty in tit-for-tat with US

US pulls out of nuclear treaty with Russia that's been a centrepiece since the Cold War

Putin pledges to work on a hypersonic missile after nuclear missile treaty with the US collapses

The United States and Russian Federation both announced over the weekend that they will suspend a major nuclear weapons agreement, known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a decision that has triggered grave concerns over the possibility of a new arms race between the world's two largest nuclear powers.

On Friday, President Donald Trump's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US would withdraw from the historic nuclear agreement within 180 days.

About 90 percent of China's missiles are said to have intermediate ranges as the country is not party to the INF treaty.

However, Lavrov pivoted by claiming Washington had been violating the treaty since 2014.

New doubts about the survival of the 2015 global nuclear deal with Iran emerged on Monday, as the head of. Moscow will react to military threats related to the U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty "by military-technical means", according to Lavrov.

Less than a day after the United States announcement, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed Russia's strong reaction in a televised meeting with his foreign and defense ministers.

Trump said in a statement that the US will "move forward" with developing its own military response options to Russia's new land-based cruise missiles that could target Western Europe. Trump said in a statement that the U.S. will "move forward" with developing its own military response options to Russia's new land-based cruise missiles that could target Western Europe. "We see that in the past few years the partners have not supported our initiatives".

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NATO allies have strongly backed Washington and urged Moscow to save the treaty by returning to compliance.

"A new era has begun, an era when the United States decides to move towards destroying the entire arms control system, which is regrettable", Moscow's top diplomat said on Monday, Russia's Tass news agency reported.

Earlier, Pompeo issued an ultimatum to Russian Federation, saying that it has 60 days to start to comply with the agreement, or, otherwise, the United States could leave the treaty on February 2.

It is very regrettable, said the Russian minister when speaking at a meeting at the Kirgiz-Russian Slavic University in this city.

Putin said Russian Federation would not deploy its weapons in Europe and other regions unless the United States did so.

"Leaving the INF treaty will unleash a new missile competition between the United States and Russian Federation", they said.

"The United States has concluded that extraordinary events related to the subject matter of the Treaty arising from Russia's continued noncompliance have jeopardized the United States' supreme interests", the statement said. "What is imperative at the moment is to uphold and implement the existing treaty instead of creating a new one", Geng said in the February 2 statement. As North Korea refuses to denuclearize and China continues its military expansion, Japan has no choice but to rely on the strengthening of nuclear deterrent measures pursued by Washington. Pompeo said the treaty will terminate if Russian Federation does not return in six months to "full and verifiable compliance with the treaty" by eliminating missiles Washington and NATO countries see as violating the agreement. The US is also working on hypersonic missiles, as is China.

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