China opposes U.S. withdrawal from INF

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Russian Federation released satellite images to prove the United States violated Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty two years back, after the US President Donald Trump recently announced that they are pulling out of the arms control agreement.

This most recent strike simulation comes after Russian Federation suspended the Cold War-era Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty following the US's announcement it would withdraw from the pact, accusing Moscow of violations.

Although Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, has said that Moscow should not participate in a new arms race with Washington, Russia has now signalled it will develop new land-based missiles as quickly and at as low a cost as possible.

What's the complaint? The US and NATO specifically are unhappy about the Novator 9M729, a land-based cruise missile with a range larger than the 500-kilometer limit set by the treaty.

The Russian military should start work on creating land-based launch systems for an existing ship-launched cruise missile, the Kalibr, and for longer-range hypersonic missiles which travel at least five times the speed of sound, he said.

'We Europeans can not remain spectators of our own security, ' French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said on Tuesday at a conference in Portugal. The U.S. cited Russia's continued development of long-range missiles as the reason for the decision.

Lavrov on Saturday repeated accusations that Washington itself has been in violation of the deal for many years, while Russian Federation "tried everything to save the treaty" in several rounds of diplomatic talks.

The Russian leader said that Moscow remains open to talks with Washington, but added that it would be up to the USA to take the first step.

Given Russia is seen by the USA as having already breached the INF treaty by its deployment of a ground-launched cruise missile, designated the 9M729 or SSC-8, Moscow is clearly ahead in the race to field this previously banned category of weapons. "Let's wait until our partners are mature enough to conduct an equal and substantive dialogue on those issues", he said. "We can not be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other". The entire construct of nuclear arms control is at risk again, unfolding against the backdrop of a Western alliance in decay, due in part to deliberate USA policies.

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Putin also noted during Saturday's meeting that he would like the military to prepare a response to the possible deployment of weapons in space.

Russian Federation says they could also be used for attacks.

"Crossroads is a good word to describe where this decision puts us", says Thomas Countryman, a former acting undersecretary of state for arms control and worldwide security.

But instead of envisioning new or updated agreements aimed at limiting each other's arms buildup and nipping a nascent arms race in the bud, both the USA and Russian Federation seem to be interested in unconstrained arms development, some experts say - with China not far behind.

"We have plenty to choose from", pro-Kremlin defence analyst Igor Korotchenko told AFP, noting the Dagger missile was just one such system.

We will provide a mirror-like response.

This is a developing story, more to follow.

Treaty banned both countries from using short- and medium-range missiles.

Whether the United States will now respond by deploying INF non-compliant missiles in Asia is unclear. China's building of artificial islands on tiny reefs in the middle of the South China Sea created a fresh theatre for geopolitical manoeuvres.