MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. The US pullout from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty may ruin the entire system of arms control and mass destruction weapons non-proliferation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at an enlarged board meeting of the Defense Ministry on Tuesday.
"The US statement on withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty causes serious concern. This step may have very negative consequences and will noticeably weaken regional and global security," Putin noted.
"In a perspective, this may actually mean the degradation and even the ruin of the entire architecture of arms control and mass destruction weapons non-proliferation," the Russian leader said.
As a pretext, "they are using the accustomed and trivial method of unfoundedly accusing Russia of violating its commitments under the treaty, which they have breached and, moreover, breached long ago," the Russian leader said.
Specifically, the deployment of the US seaborne Aegis system in Romania and, in the immediate future, in Poland is a direct breach of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty because these launchers can be used for the launch of missiles of this type, Putin said.
"Now they have emerged on that territory in violation of the Treaty," Putin said.