Putin: Russia will build new missiles if US does

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that if the United States exits the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and starts developing weapons banned by it then his country will too.

Putin told reporters that the U.S. decision to leave the INF implies that U.S. authorities have decided that the country "has to have these weapons," according to ABC. Russia's response, Putin said, will be to "do the same."

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Trump to sign funding deal, declare national emergency | Shanahan says allies will be consulted on Afghanistan | Dem demands Khashoggi documents Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general Top Dem demands State Department documents on Khashoggi killing MORE said Tuesday that the U.S. would suspend its obligations under the INF in 60 days if Russia does not comply with the treaty.

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The U.S. has accused Russia of violating the treaty for years, and on Tuesday Pompeo called it part of a broader pattern of “lawlessness” by Moscow.

NATO foreign ministers also formally concluded Tuesday that Russia was breaching the treaty with its development of new ground-based missile systems and urged Moscow to come back into compliance.

The nuclear arms pact was signed by former President Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. The deal bans the deployment of intermediate-range conventional and nuclear ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' ACLU says planned national emergency declaration is 'clear abuse of presidential power' O'Rourke says he'd 'absolutely' take down border wall near El Paso if he could MORE announced that he would be exiting the INF in October, a decision met with some criticism. Analysts generally agree that Russia has violated the treaty, but some have worried that U.S. withdrawal could spur an arms race.