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Putin officially suspends Russia's compliance with arms treaty after US withdrawal

Putin officially suspends Russia's compliance with arms treaty after US withdrawal
© UPI Photo

Russian President Vladimir Putin officially ended his country's participation in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty Monday after the U.S. withdrew from the agreement last month.

"The President signed an executive order suspending Russia's compliance with the INF Treaty," the Kremlin's official account tweeted Monday. 

The White House announced its decision to stop complying with the 1987 arms treaty in a statement from President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse passes voting rights and elections reform bill DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee MORE on Feb. 1.

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The Trump administration has accused Russia of violating the treaty, which bans the creation and maintenance of nuclear and conventional ground-launch ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 300 and 3,400 miles, since 2014.

The European Union has also accused Russia of violating the treaty. Russia has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Arms control advocates have expressed concern that the bilateral withdrawal from the treaty could trigger a Cold War–style arms race.

Putin has said that if the U.S. places ground-based intermediate-range missiles in Europe, then Russia will retaliate.

"Russia will be forced to create and deploy types of weapons which can be used not only in respect of those territories from which the direct threat to us originates, but also in respect of those territories where the centers of decision making are located," Putin reportedly said in a meeting of Russian elites.