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Russia Will Spy on US and Match Its Missiles, Putin Says

INF treaty ended last week
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2019 5:48 PM CDT
Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, leads a Security Council meeting in the Kremlin on Monday in Moscow. Putin said that Russia will only deploy new intermediate-range missiles if the U.S. does.   (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
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(Newser) – Now that an arms control treaty has been abandoned, Vladamir Putin says he'll keep track of US missile development by spying. If he sees the US building short- and medium-range, land-based nuclear missiles, Russia will build them, too, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Russian president announced his plans Monday after a meeting of the nation's Security Council, raising the possibility of a new arms race. After saying Russia had violated it, the US left the Intermediate and Medium-range Nuclear Forces Treaty last week. Russia, which has made similar accusations but had tried to keep the US in the deal, per Reuters, then also withdrew.

"If Russia obtains reliable information that the United States has finished developing these systems and started to produce them," Putin's statement said, "Russia will have no option other than to engage in a full-scale effort to develop similar missiles." The missiles covered by the treaty have a range of about 310 miles to 3,400 miles and help enable a nuclear attack on short notice. President Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, has said the US probably will not extend a long-range nuclear-arms treaty, either. Putin said again Monday that he is willing to hold new arms control negotiations with the US. (Read more arms control stories.)

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