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Russia’s cabinet to fund R&D of new weapons following US withdrawal from INF Treaty

"This will not be left without an efficient response," Dmitry Medvedev said

MOSCOW, February 2. /TASS/. The Russian government will allocate required funds for research and technological development (R&D) and for the development of new weapons following the United States’ withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF treaty), Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

"The unilateral, triggered by nothing withdrawal of the United States from the INF treaty aggravates the situation in the field of global security and strategic stability," Medvedev tweeted.

"This will not be left without an efficient response," he warned.

"Taking into consideration the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty and a response in kind announced by the president of Russia, the Russian government will be considering required means and mechanisms to fund R&D and the development of new weapons," Medvedev stressed.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that Washington would suspend its liabilities under the INF Treaty starting February 2 and would quit it within six months if Russia did not come into compliance with the agreement.

A day later, on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin responded in kind, saying that Moscow would suspend the Cold War-era treaty. Moreover, he told the ministers not to initiate disarmament talks with Washington, underscoring that the United States should become "mature enough" for equal and meaningful dialogue. Putin pointed out that Russia would start work on the development of new weapons in response to US similar steps. In particular, work will start on a new hypersonic ground-launched medium-range missile.

The US began accusing Russia of breaking the treaty in July 2014. Since then, Washington has been repeating its allegations on many occasions, whereas Moscow has been rejecting them and advancing counter-claims concerning the implementation of the treaty by the US.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987, entered into force on June 1, 1988. The INF Treaty covered deployed and non-deployed ground-based short-range missiles (from 500 to 1,000 kilometers) and intermediate-range missiles (from 1,000 to 5,500 kilometers). By June 1991, the sides had met their obligations under the treaty, as the Soviet Union had destroyed 1,846 missiles and the United States - 846.