Dropping INF Treaty will let U.S

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Putin greenlights creation of hypersonic mid-range missile as USA suspends INF Treaty Russia will start developing a new type of mid-range missile as it suspends the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

President Donald Trump accused Moscow on Friday of violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty with "impunity" by deploying banned missiles.

"We will respond quid pro quo", Russian President Vladimir Putin said as he announced the suspension of the INF treaty. He also claimed that Russia's 9M729 missile violates the INF treaty which bans missiles with ranges between 310 and 3,400 miles.

When Russia signed the INF Treaty and agreed to eliminate its ground-launched intermediate-range missiles, it was because its leaders realized that the absence of such weapons would make Russia more secure, not less.

NATO has said that U.S. allies "fully support" its withdrawal from the pact, and agreed that Russia's 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile systems violates the treaty. Japanese officials hope for the creation of a "new framework" of nuclear disarmament pursued by the U.S., Russian Federation and China - an idea U.S. President Donald Trump mentioned in a tweet in early December previous year.

The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by USA president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It said Russian Federation was violating the treaty's terms and had six months to become compliant.

Technically, a U.S. withdrawal would take effect six months after this week's notification, leaving a small window for saving the treaty. China has stated that Russian Federation and the US should adhere to the INF and objects to any efforts to expand the treaty beyond its current scope. It was the development of that missile, which the Russians call the Novator 9M729, that prompted the USA decision to abandon the INF treaty.

Latvia, like other members of the NATO alliance, has backed the United States which has charged since the administration of former president Barack Obama that Russian Federation is infringing on the INF treaty with the range of its new 9M729 missile system.

But he added, "We do not know whether we will achieve an agreement, but we do know that after two decades of war, the hour has come to at least try for peace".

Experts say the United States and Russian Federation abandoning of the INF treaty delivered a huge blow to the global arms control regime and worldwide security. "We can not be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in early December that Washington would give Moscow 60 days to return to compliance before it gave formal notice of withdrawal, with actual withdrawal taking place six months later. He also endorsed the army's suggestion to make a ground-based model of the Kalibr cruise missile, which is now fitted on planes, warships, and submarines.

Over the past five years, Chinese forces have steadily consolidated and expanded their presence in the South China Sea through land reclamation efforts.

"At the same time, they [the United States] are actively working on creating ground-based missiles with the range capability of over [310 miles], which is outside the treaty-stipulated limitations".

Putin emphasized that such new weapons won't be deployed unless the US does so.