Russia’s Putin: nothing to stop us adding other states to nuclear pact

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the meeting to discuss preparations to mark the anniversary of the allied victory in the World War II at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia December 12, 2018. Sputnik/Aleksey Nikolskyi/Kremlin via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that there was nothing to stop Russia and the United States agreeing that other countries could join the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by Washington and Moscow during the Cold War.

The United States has accused Russia of flouting the nuclear pact, allegations Moscow denies, and has threatened to pull out. Other countries are able to develop missiles banned under the treaty because they are not signatories.

“What stops (us) starting talks on them joining the current agreement or starting to discuss parameters for a new accord?” Putin asked.

Reporting by Polina Ivanova and Andrew Osborn; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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