Russian President Vladimir Putin claims that the United States has withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), and that there is “nothing good about it.”
“Well, we [Russia] did not withdraw from the fundamental treaties that are the cornerstone of the international security architecture,” Putin said at his annual year-end press conference. “It was the United States who did that. Now we are hearing things about intermediate-range missiles.”
“I think this is a propaganda campaign in preparation for the U.S. to withdraw from this treaty,” Putin said. “They have factually withdrawn from this treaty already.”
Putin said the U.S. has accused Russia of leaving the treaty – “But what did they do?”
“They deployed missile defense systems in Romania” by moving missile launchers from “sea to land,” Putin said. “Those systems can be easily converted or replaced with intermediate-range missiles. This process is already underway.”
“If things continue to go this way, nothing good can come out of it,” he added.
The INF was signed in 1987 by the U.S. and then-Soviet Union, now Russia. The treaty was signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
It eliminates all short- and intermediate-range nuclear and conventional missiles and missile launchers.
The U.S. Department of Defense has said it complies with the INF Treaty.
Watch Putin on Russian state TV: