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> Russia's president, Vladimir Putin is threatening to develop missiles banned under a nuclear treaty with the United States if Washington pulls out of the agreement. But the US believes Russia already has the weapons. Putin's threat is a response to a 60-day ultimatum issued by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday.
After months of warnings from the White House over what's called the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF Pact, signed in 1987.>> Is it has found Russia in material breach of the treaty.>> Washington claims Russia possesses a missile system called the SSC-8, capable of hitting Europe on short notice.
And reportedly developed in secret in the mid-2000s. Reuters cannot independently verify the claim and Putin says the States have no evidence, that this is a pretext for Washington to exit the pact on its own. NATO meanwhile is in a tricky spot, it supports the American efforts, but some countries, such as Germany and Belgium are concerned about being caught up in a new nuclear race.
They want to give diplomacy a final push before any pullout. Some countries actually do produce missiles banned under the INF Treaty. Moscow and Washington are unusual in their decision to limit themselves with the accord.