Putin: U.S. Withdrawal From INF 'Ill-Considered,' But Russia Will Follow Suit

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Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, told foreign defense attaches in Moscow on December 5 that a USA withdrawal from the treaty would be a "dangerous step that can negatively affect not only European security, but also strategic stability as a whole".

Stoltenberg said the 29 NATO allies will "collectively develop responses" should the treaty be abandoned, but he declined to say what they might be. Stoltenberg stressed that Russian Federation still had time to comply but added "we must also start to prepare for a world without the treaty".

Pompeo said that Russian Federation would have 60 days to come back into compliance with the treaty.

"It has to be fully implemented, so I hope that the time that is there to work on preserving the treaty and achieving its full implementation can be used wisely from all sides, and we will definitely try to make our part to make sure this happens". The INF brief was issued by ACA Executive Director Daryl Kimball and Disarmament Director Kingston Reif.

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The prospect of U.S. missiles on European soil is a concern for states including Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, whose representatives have urged Mr Pompeo to continue with diplomacy in fear of a European arms race. "We're hopeful they'll change course, but there's been no indication to date that they have any intention of doing so".

Russian border guards fired on three Ukrainian navy vessels in the Black Sea near the Russia-occupied Crimea on November 25.

Russian Federation annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014, sparking NATO's biggest military buildup in Eastern Europe since the Cold War.

"Four years ago, Russian Federation illegally annexed Crimea".

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But as to what more North Atlantic Treaty Organisation would do beyond its existing sea patrols and air policing, he said: "There is already a lot of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in the Black Sea".

Klimkin welcomed the political support he received in Brussels, but said: "We shouldn't just stay on the level of declarations, however strong declarations are".

He also suggested a possible ban on Russian ships entering other countries' ports if Moscow continues to block the Sea of Azov and said he would raise the idea with European Union ministers next week.

Putin said on Wednesday that the USA decision to ditch the INF means Washington has decided the United States "has to have these weapons".

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"As military professionals, you should understand that not United States territory, but the countries that accommodate U.S. systems of intermediate-range and short-range missiles will become the targets of Russian responsive measures", Gerasimov told foreign military attaches.

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