December 22, 2017 9:57 am

Vladimir Putin accuses United States of violating Cold War-era nuclear arms pact

In this June 2, 2017 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks in St. Petersburg, Russia.

(AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, File)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is accusing the U.S. of violating a landmark Cold War-era nuclear arms pact.

Putin, speaking during Friday’s meeting with the top military brass, alleged that the U.S. missile defence sites in Romania containing interceptor missiles could also house ground-to-ground intermediate-range cruise missiles in violation of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

He added that U.S. launches of target vehicles as part of tests represented another violation of the pact that bans all land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometres (310-3,410 miles).

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Washington has rejected Russian claims of perceived violations and accused Russia of breaking the pact by developing a new cruise missile, accusations Moscow has denied.

Putin said the military has all the means to counter potential threats.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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