A defiant Vladimir Putin on Wednesday threatened to develop nuclear missiles banned under a treaty with the United States after Washington gave Moscow a deadline to comply with the key arms control agreement.
"Now it seems our American partners believe that the situation has changed so much that [they] must also have such a weapon", he said.
President Trump said in...
"What's our response? It's simple".
Analysts say Russian Federation sees the weapons as a cheaper alternative to conventional forces.
EU diplomacy chief Federica Mogherini, who met with Lavrov on the sidelines of the 25th OSCE Ministerial Council in Milan, addressed the issue, stating that the INF Treaty must be preserved as it is key to European and global security.
"Allies have concluded that Russian Federation has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security", the Nato foreign ministers' statement read.
Federica Mogherini has warned that Europe does not want to become a battlefield for global powers once again
If Russia does not comply within the 60-day deadline, the United States will begin the six-month process of formally withdrawing from the INF treaty.
Russia's General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov added that the Kremlin would retaliate against America's European allies who would store intermediate range missiles if the U.S. pulled out of the INF Treaty.
Russian Federation has repeatedly denied breaking the Cold War treaty.
The US won strong backing for its position from the rest of the NATO allies, who said in a joint statement that it was "now up to Russian Federation to preserve the INF treaty".
"During this 60 days we will still not test or produce or deploy any systems, and we'll see what happens during this 60-day period", he said.
Signed in 1987 by then USA president Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, the INF resolved a crisis over Soviet nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles targeting Western capitals. "Since a year ago, our troops have been armed with laser weapons".