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Russia wants answers from U.S. over alleged missile treaty violations

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu speaks with President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that it wants to have "open and specific talks" with Pentagon officials over alleged violations of a Cold War-era missile treaty, the Associated Press reports.

Background: President Trump said in October he would pull the U.S. out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, saying Russia had broken the agreement. Russia denies any violation of the INF Treaty, and Russian President Vladimir Putin said if the U.S. began developing new intermediate-range missiles, so would he. Per AP, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu sent a proposal for talks to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis three days ago, and he has not yet received a response, which Russia is taking as a sign that "the U.S. is unwilling to maintain professional dialogue."