December 5, 2018 / 11:47 AM / 12 days ago

Putin says Russia will be forced to respond if U.S. exits arms treaty

MOSCOW, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would be forced to respond if the United States exits the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces arms control treaty.

The United States delivered Russia a 60-day ultimatum on Tuesday to come clean about what Washington says is a violation of a 1987 nuclear arms control treaty, saying it would be forced to start a six-month process of withdrawal if nothing changed.

Putin, in televised comments, said that Moscow was against the scrapping of the treaty, but that the United States had long ago decided to exit the treaty and was blaming Russia for violations in order for them to serve as a pretext. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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