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US To Pull Out Of INF Treaty Accusing Russian Violation

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The United States has threatened to pull out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which banned land-based nuclear missiles in Europe, accusing Russia of breaching it.

NATO said it strongly supports the finding of the United States that Russia is in material breach of its obligations under the 1987 deal, but Russia denied it.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty has been crucial in upholding NATO's security for oe than 30 years.

The State department said Tuesday that unless Russia returns to "full and verifiable compliance" of the treaty within 60 days, the United States will suspend its obligations.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that during this period, Washington will not test, produce or deploy any systems.

Since 2013, the US government has raised its concerns regarding Russian development of a ground-launched cruise missile having a range capability between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.

But Russia claimed that the missile was incapable of ranges beyond 500 kilometers and, therefore, INF Treaty-compliant.

NATO said its member nations have concluded that Russia has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security.

In a statement issued after a meeting of NATO foreign ministers, the alliance said the United States has remained in full compliance with its obligations under the Treaty since it entered into force.

They called on Russia to return urgently to full and verifiable compliance, and made it clear that NATO continue to aspire to a constructive relationship with Russia, and that it remains open to dialogue with its government.

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