Putin says if USA builds missiles, so will Russian Federation

U.S. signals it will suspend nuclear treaty with Russia after NATO finding

"Our nations have a choice".

He warned the world to take heed of Russia's hypersonic missile capabilities as United States president Donald Trump threatens to pull out of the Soviet-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

He said work on hypersonic missiles when the USA withdrew from Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, or ABM Treaty, in June 2002. In a televised address, Putin said Washington was accusing Moscow of violating the 1987 nuclear arms control treaty to be able to exit the agreement.

Pompeo accused Russian Federation of deploying "multiple battalions of the SSC-8 missiles", a land-based, intermediate-range Cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Meanwhile, NATO foreign ministers in a statement on 4 December collectively declared for the first time that Russia's 9M729 missile violates the INF Treaty and that it was now up to Moscow to preserve the accord.

It is also possible for Russia to deploy intermediate-range missiles, and primarily cruise missiles, in Latin American countries like Cuba, once the INF Treaty is terminated, according to Leonid Ivashov, former head of the Russian Defense Ministry's main department for worldwide military cooperation.

"In the light of these facts, the United States declares Russian Federation in material breach of the treaty and will suspend our obligations. effective in 60 days unless Russian Federation returns to full and verifiable compliance", Mr Pompeo said.

Putin told Russian news agencies that a USA withdrawal from the treaty would mean Washington has concluded it "has to have these weapons" and that Moscow "will do the same".

In Brussels, EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini urged Russian Federation and the USA to save the treaty, warning that Europe did not want to become a battlefield for global powers once again, as it had been during the Cold War.

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Some US lawmakers raised the alarm that the Trump administration's move threatens to trigger an arms race between the United States and Russian Federation.

Britain's chief of the defence staff, General Sir Nick Carter, has also said Russian Federation is in breach of the agreement - telling MPs "we need to call them out" for a deployment of "systems which break the 500km to 5,000km range".

"Russia's reply has been consistent: deny any wrongdoing, demand more information, and issue baseless counter-accusations", Pompeo said.

"This was really arms control at its best and therefore it's a really a big setback if this treaty now breaks totally down", he said.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have helped modernize Ukraine's armed forces and boosted their presence in the Black Sea over the past year, with more ships deployed in the region and more air policing.

Trump had said he wants talks with Vladimir Putin Xi Jinping "to head off an uncontrollable arms race".

Russian officials on Wednesday warned of unspecified "retaliation" to the U.S.

"No proof has been produced to support this American position", Zakharova said.

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