Russia withdrawing from nuclear arms treaty following US move

President Vladimir Putin has said Russia will follow in the footsteps of the United States and abandon a centrepiece nuclear arms treaty.

However, Mr Putin said Moscow will only deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles if Washington does so.

He was speaking after the US announced on Friday that it was pulling the plug on the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty over alleged Russian violations.

Moscow has denied any breaches and accused Washington of making false accusations in order to justify its withdrawal.

Following the US notice of withdrawal from the treaty in six months, Mr Putin said that Russia will do the same.

He ordered the development of new land-based intermediate-range weapons, but emphasised that Russia will not deploy them in the European part of the country or elsewhere unless the US does so.

- Press Association

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