Russian minister warns Europe over US exit from nuclear pact

October 29, 2018 GMT

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s defense minister has urged Europe to consider what impact Washington’s intended withdrawal from a key nuclear arms pact would have on its security.

Sergei Shoigu told his visiting Greek counterpart Monday that the European Union and NATO should weigh the consequences of a U.S. exit from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, warning it will entail “serious consequences” for Europe.

President Donald Trump has declared his intention to opt out of the pact over alleged Russian violations. Russian President Vladimir Putin denied any breaches of the treaty, claiming it was the U.S. that violated the pact.

Putin said he hoped Washington wouldn’t follow up by positioning intermediate-range missiles in Europe. He warned that if the U.S. does that, Russia would have to target the nations that would host them.