US leaving nuke treaty may collapse arms control system: Putin

Moscow [Russia: Warning the United States of repercussions over withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said that Washington’s plan to exit from the nuclear pact could lead to the collapse of the system of arms control and mass destruction non-proliferation weapons.

“Whatever are the problems in the INF Treaty, in modern conditions, it serves as a stabilising factor and works to maintain a certain level of predictability and restraint in the military sphere,” Putin was quoted by Anadolu News Agency saying while speaking at an expanded meeting of the Defence Ministry Board in Moscow.

Calling for the expansion of new countries in the nuclear agreement if the US felt that “bilateral character” is an issue in the treaty, Putin also mulled the drafting of a new agreement on the same.

“I think it is necessary to state once again that we will be forced to take additional measures to strengthen our security,” said Putin, while warning the US of pulling out from the INF treaty.
In October, Trump had announced that the US would withdraw from the nuclear treaty.

Signed by then Soviet Union Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan in 1987, the agreement was largely designed to prevent prospects of a full-scale nuclear war in Europe.