Putin formally suspends nuclear missile treaty with US

Caravanserai and AFP

MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin Wednesday (July 3) signed into law a bill that suspends a crucial arms control treaty signed by former US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty that limited medium-range missiles was concluded by Russia and the United States in 1987.

Moscow suspended participation in the INF treaty in March after the United States announced it would ditch the agreement for Russian violations of the terms.

After years of formal complaints and attempts at diplomatic resolution, the United States and NATO allies concluded that Russia "openly violates" the landmark Cold War treaty.

Washington has been pointing out INF violations by the Kremlin since 2013, according to the US State Department, which cited the violations in annual reports of 2014 through 2018.

On Wednesday, Putin formalised the suspension by signing the bill that says any decision to resume the agreement is to be made by the Russian president.

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