MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin is accusing the U.S. of violating a landmark Cold War-era nuclear arms pact.
Putin, speaking during Friday's meeting with the top military brass, alleged that the U.S. missile defense sites in Romania containing interceptor missiles could also house ground-to-ground intermediate-range cruise missiles in violation of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
He added that U.S. launches of target vehicles as part of tests represented another violation of the pact that bans all land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (310-3,410 miles).
Washington has rejected Russian claims of perceived violations and accused Russia of breaking the pact by developing a new cruise missile, accusations Moscow has denied.
Putin said the military has all the means to counter potential threats.