Putin calls for talks after Trump pulls out of nuclear arms agreement

Putin calls for talks after Trump pulls out of nuclear arms agreement
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Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinBudowsky: Would John McCain back impeachment? Sanctions encourage Sino-Russian cooperation Return of nuclear doomsday MORE on Monday called for arms talks with the U.S., saying Moscow would only deploy new intermediate-range missiles if Washington does as well.

“If we receive reliable information that the U.S. has completed the development and launched production of the relevant systems, Russia will have to engage in full-scale development of similar missiles,” Putin said in a statement, according to The Associated Press.

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“In order to avoid chaos without any rules, restrictions and laws, it’s necessary to weigh all the dangerous consequences and start a serious dialogue without any ambiguities,” he added. “Russia considers it necessary to resume full-fledged talks on strategic stability and security without any delay.”

Putin's statement comes just days after the U.S. formally exited the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a decades-old arms pact with Russia credited with helping end the Cold War. 

The INF treaty had banned nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 300 and 3,400 miles. The original ban between Moscow and Washington resulted in 2,692 missiles being destroyed.

The U.S. has blamed Russia for violating the now-defunct treaty since 2014, a claim Moscow denies.

On Saturday, Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperHillicon Valley: Pentagon pushes back on Amazon lawsuit | Lawmakers dismiss Chinese threat to US tech companies | YouTube unveils new anti-harassment policy | Agencies get annual IT grades Overnight Defense: House passes compromise defense bill | Turkey sanctions advance in Senate over Trump objections | Top general says military won't be 'raping, burning and pillaging' after Trump pardons Pentagon dismisses Amazon questions over Esper's recusal in 'war cloud' case MORE said he was interested in deploying intermediate-range missiles in Asia soon.

Putin reiterated Monday that Russia would not deploy missiles unless the U.S. places them in range of the country.

“Our actions related to the development, production and deployment of ground-based intermediate-range missiles will be exclusively reciprocal and mirrored,” he said, per AP. “We will not deploy them until the U.S.-made intermediate-range missiles are deployed” in areas where they may threaten Russia.

Esper did not clarify where in Asia the U.S. is considering placing missiles.