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Putin signs law suspending INF arms control treaty with the U.S.

Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on during talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May on the first day of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, 28 June 2019. EPA/ANDY RAIN / POOL via AP

MOSCOW – President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill suspending Russia’s participation in a pivotal nuclear arms treaty.

Putin’s decree released on Wednesday formalizes Russia’s departure from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty with the United States following Washington’s withdrawal from the pact.

The U.S. gave notice of its intention to withdraw from the INF in February, setting the stage for it to terminate in six months unless Moscow returns to compliance. Russia has denied any breaches, and accused the U.S. of violating the pact. Moscow followed Washington’s example in February, also suspending its obligations under the treaty.

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WATCH: (Feb. 2019) Suspension of U.S.-Russia Nuclear Arms Treaty could end in new arms race

Click to play video: 'Suspension of U.S.-Russia Nuclear Arms Treaty could end in new arms race'
Suspension of U.S.-Russia Nuclear Arms Treaty could end in new arms race

Putin has warned the U.S. against deploying new missiles in Europe, saying that Russia will retaliate by fielding new fast weapons that will take just as little time to reach their targets.

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The United States is set to pull out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) on Aug. 2 citing Russia’s development of a missile that breaks the accord.

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