After US ultimatum to Russia, EU reacts

Minnie Murray
December 6, 2018

The United States warned Russian Federation on Tuesday that it would withdraw from the Cold War-era treaty limiting mid-range nuclear arms if Moscow does not return to compliance within 60 days.

"Our nations have a choice".

Putin said about a dozen countries were now producing mid-range missiles of the type banned by the INF treaty.

In October, President Donald Trump declared the United States would pull out of the treaty and build up America's nuclear stockpile "until people come to their senses".

This video grab provided by RU-RTR Russian television via AP television on Thursday, March 1, 2018, shows the launch of what President Vladimir Putin said is Russia's new nuclear-powered intercontinental cruise missile.

"Our immediate task should be to work with our European allies to bring [Russia] back into compliance, not to unilaterally withdraw from the Treaty", US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel said on Tuesday. Russian Federation denies breaching the treaty, which bans deployment of ground-launched missiles with a range of 500 kilometers (311 miles) to 5,500 kilometers, and has said it wants to hold talks with the USA on preserving the agreement.

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday dismissed USA claims Russian Federation is violating a major Cold War treaty limiting mid-range nuclear arms, as a senior general lashed out at Washington's attempts to "contain" Moscow.

Putin told Russian news agencies that a USA withdrawal from the treaty would mean Washington has concluded it "has to have these weapons" and that Moscow "will do the same". Meanwhile, the NATO chief has warned that time is running out for Russian Federation to comply with the missile treaty.

Meanwhile, in Brussels Tuesday, during a separate speech hosted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Pompeo dismissed claims that the United States was withdrawing from the worldwide stage under President Donald Trump's "America First" policy.

"Instead of complaining all the time about the United States walking away from the treaty, the Europeans should spend a bit of time looking at why the United States is withdrawing from the treaty", he said.

The US Arms Control Association (ACA) in a press release said it was disappointed in Stoltenberg's failure to pursue a diplomatic solution.

"Its range makes it a direct menace to Europe", Pompeo said of the missiles, which also are called Novator 9M729, after a meeting with his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation counterparts.

Putin said on Wednesday that the USA decision to ditch the INF means that US authorities have decided that the U.S.

Putin claimed that the United States was seeking to use Russian Federation as a scapegoat for the demise of the INF by accusing it of a violation.

Klimkin welcomed the political support he received in Brussels, but said: "We shouldn't just stay on the level of declarations, however strong declarations are".

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