UPDATED 9:08 AM PT — Monday, February 4, 2019
Russia is denying its on the brink of a new ‘Cold War’ with the U.S. after tensions between the nations heightened in response to the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from a key nuclear treaty.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the comments early Monday after the Kremlin announced its withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on Saturday.
The move came in response to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announcing the U.S. would pull out of the agreement last week. The U.S. cited Russia’s continued development of long-range missiles as the reason for the decision.
However, Lavrov pivoted by claiming Washington had been violating the treaty since 2014.
“All these initiatives (of the Kremlin) remain on the table, but we will not run around reminding our Western partners about them anymore,” stated the Russian foreign minister. “When they are ready to recognize their responsibility for the problems created by the U.S. policy…welcome — our doors are open, come in and let us talk, on equal terms, taking into account the interests of each other, lawful interests, but not imaginary ones.”
The U.S. said Russia still has six-months to come back into compliance with the agreement in order to save the treaty, but Russian President Vladimir Putin shot back by claiming the country will begin work on a range of new missiles immediately.