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MILITARY: Russian missile in breach of INF treaty infographic
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U.S. says to exit nuclear arms treaty

Graphic News

October 22, 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, following Russia’s development of a new medium-range missile in violation of the deal. Moscow has denied it is breaking the treaty and repeatedly accused the US of violating its terms.

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton held talks with top Russian officials Monday after President Donald Trump had declared an intention to pull out of a landmark nuclear weapons treaty.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that the U.S. withdrawal from the treaty would "make the world a more dangerous place."

He added that Russia will have to take countermeasures to "restore balance" if the U.S. opts out of the agreement.

NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said Monday that NATO has repeatedly expressed concern about Russia's nuclear-capable 9M729 missile.

The Novator 9M729 missile, thought to be an extended-range version of the 9M728 ground-based system, would enable Russia to launch nuclear strike at NATO countries at very short notice.

Signed by President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty banned the U.S. and Soviet Union from having "ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers," and required the destruction of the missiles, launchers and "associated support structures and support equipment," according to the State Department.

The two countries eliminated 2,692 missiles after the treaty's "entry-into-force" in 1988, the agency says.

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