Russia: US nuclear pact withdrawal does not mean 'development of a Cold War'

Russia: US nuclear pact withdrawal does not mean 'development of a Cold War'
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Russia on Monday said the United States's withdrawal from a Cold War-era arms control pact would not lead to another Cold War, according to a Russian state news agency.

“I don’t think we’re talking about the development of a Cold War. A new era has begun," RIA news agency quotes Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying, according to Reuters reports. 

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The Trump administration announced last week that it would withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, saying that Russia had violated the agreement.

“Russia has refused to take any steps to return to real and verifiable compliance over these 60 days,” Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe Mueller report is a deterrent to government service Israel praises Trump on ending Iran oil sanction waivers Pompeo blames 'Islamic radical terror' for Sri Lanka attacks MORE said Friday. “The United States will therefore suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty effective Feb. 2."

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone MORE said in his own statement that the U.S. would “move forward with developing our own military response options” to the violations and work to “deny Russia any military advantage from its unlawful conduct.” 

The U.S. since 2014 had accused Russia of violating the treaty, which was signed in 1987 and banned weapons including certain ballistic and cruise missiles. The international community has widely believed that Russia has violated the agreement, but has expressed concern about the impact of the U.S. withdrawal from the treaty.

Russian President Vladimir Putin responded on Saturday by announcing that Russia would also withdraw from the pact.

“Our American partners have announced they were suspending their participation in the treaty, and we will do the same," he said. "They have announced they will conduct research and development, and we will act accordingly."