Russia reserves the right to take counter measures if the United States deploys missiles prohibited by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday during a visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed that if the U.S. withdrawal from the treaty gives it a free hand to deploy missiles prohibited by the INF treaty, Russia reserves the right to do the same. But it should be reiterated that Russia's action is not out of its own choice, Lavrov said at a press conference after meeting with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE.

The U.S. administration has announced that the U.S. is withdrawing from the INF Treaty in six months, starting from February 2.

Putin signed a decree suspending Russia's compliance with the INF Treaty with immediate effect, the Kremlin said Monday.

The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and former U.S. President Ronald Reagan to ban the development, deployment and testing of ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles with ranges between 300 and 3,400 miles (480 to 5,470 kilometers).!language=1


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