Russia hits back at US over nuclear treaty withdrawal

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Photo credit: Getty

Russia has fired back at the United States over Donald Trump's intent to withdraw from a key nuclear treaty, labelling it "crude" and "dangerous" and threatening military action.

Mr Trump said Russia had "violated" the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which banned ground launched medium-range missiles with a range between 500-5,500km.

"If the Americans continue to act as crudely ... and unilaterally withdraw from all sorts of agreement and mechanisms from the Iran deal to the International Postal treaty, then we'll be reduced to taking action in response, including of a military nature. But we don't want to go that far," Sergei Ryabkob, Russia's deputy foreign minister, said.

Mr Trump said he believed Russia had been violating the 1987 treaty for years.

Mr Ryabkov denied those claims, saying the US "had no grounds to accuse Russia of supposedly violating the treaty".

The increase in tension comes ahead of US national security adviser John Bolton's trip to Moscow this week.


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