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"The target for Russian retaliation won't be US territory but the countries where the intermediate-range missiles are deployed", Russian General Staff Chief Valery Gerasimov said, a day after the Trump administration said it is preparing to withdraw from the 30-year-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

The bilateral treaty between Washington and Moscow banned all land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (310-3,410 miles).

In October, President Donald Trump declared the United States would pull out of the treaty and build up America's nuclear stockpile "until people come to their senses".

Putin said on Wednesday that the U.S. decision to ditch the INF means Washington has decided the USA "has to have these weapons". "We definitely do not want to see this being torn apart; we definitely do not want to walk backwards", Mogherini said, according to the EEAS website.

Mr Putin, in televised comments, accused the U.S. of blaming Russian Federation for violations as a pretext for Washington to exit the pact.

Putin dismissed Pompeo's statement as a smokescreen, saying Washington had already chose to ditch the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF). What's our response? It's simple: "in that case we will also do this", he said.

"The United States has remained in full compliance with its obligations under the INF Treaty since it entered into force", the ministers said in their joint statement.

Russia lashed out Wednesday in response to Washington's threat to pull out of a key Cold War weapons treaty, with a top general in Moscow saying Russian forces will target European countries hosting American missiles if the USA follows through on the threat.

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She said Macron's move "is on the right path but in my opinion it will not fundamentally change the movement". He added that "no tax should endanger national unity" and the "violence must stop".


By signing the treaty, the United States and Russian Federation agreed to ban the use, testing, and possession of short- and mid-range ballistic missiles.

"We call on Russian Federation to urgently return to full and verifiable compliance with the INF Treaty".

The deal marked the first-ever pact reached by Washington and Moscow on nuclear disarmament and a major step forward in restricting arms race.

The State Department said in a statement Tuesday that it had provided Moscow with "more than enough information for Russian Federation to engage substantively on the issue".

"On 26 Nov., Russian Deputy Foreign Minister [Sergei] Ryabkov said that Russia is "open to any mutually beneficial proposals that take into account the interests and concerns of both parties", the ACA said on Tuesday.

"If we do not, we will get cheated by other nations, expose Americans to greater risk, and squander our credibility", Pompeo said.

Putin claimed that the United States was seeking to use Russian Federation as a scapegoat for the demise of the INF by accusing it of a violation.

Ukrainian authorities said Tuesday that shipping traffic has resumed on the Sea, but a senior U.S. State Department official said that at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation "no one would see that as a satisfactory move or the end of the matter".


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