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Russian Lawmakers Recommend Nuclear Doctrine Review


U.S. President Ronald Reagan (right) and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sign the INF Treaty at the White House in December 1987.

A committee of the Russian parliament's upper house has recommended to the Kremlin to review the nation's rules for the use of nuclear weapons, local news agencies report.

They said participants in November 21 hearings organized by the Federation Council's Committee for Defense and Security suggested that the presidential Security Council should draft a new version of the nuclear doctrine.

The lawmakers said in their nonbinding recommendations cited by the news agencies that the revised version of the doctrine should, in particular, spell out a response to a hypothetical use of hypersonic and other nonnuclear strategic weapons against Russia.

The proposals come two days after President Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of top military officials to discuss a response to U.S. threats to pull out of a key nuclear arms treaty.

The U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty "wouldn't be left without an answer from our side," Putin said at the November 19 meeting in Moscow, adding that the Kremlin was ready to discuss the matter with Washington.

U.S. President Donald Trump last month declared his intention to withdraw from the 1987 INF Treaty, citing alleged Russian violations of the accord, which prohibits the United States and Russia from possessing, producing, or deploying ground-launched cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of between 500 and 5,000 kilometers.

Russia has repeatedly denied the accusations and also alleged that some elements of U.S. missile-defense systems in Europe were in violation of the agreement.

Washington denies that.

Trump's move came amid persistent tension between the West and Russia over issues including Moscow's seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea region in 2014, its role in wars in Syria and eastern Ukraine, its alleged election meddling in the United States and Europe, and the poisoning of a Russian double agent and his daughter in Britain in March.

With reporting by AP and Reuters
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