Russia tests new hypersonic missile

UK Backs US Pulling Out Of Nuclear Treaty

Foreign Office minister Mark Field told MPs all NATO allies support US decision.

Russia tests new hypersonic missile

Russia tested a new hypersonic missile in December which President Vladimir Putin claims is "invulnerable" to US defences (Picture: Russian Ministry of Defence).

The UK Government is supporting the United States pulling out of an international treaty on nuclear warheads, a minister has confirmed.

Responding to an urgent question on the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Foreign Office minister Mark Field condemned Russian "obfuscation" in response to attempts to heal the rift.

He said: "I have to inform the House that Russia has not taken that opportunity - it has offered no credible response, only obfuscation and contradictions designed to mislead.

"This of course fits a wider pattern of behaviour from Russia aimed at undermining our collective security.

"We and all Nato allies therefore support the US decision to suspend its participation in the treaty and to trigger the formal withdrawal process.

"Nato is unified on this process, Mr Speaker, and it is Russia's fault alone that we have arrived at this point."

Shadow foreign office minister Fabian Hamilton warned the decision could be "the start of a new arms race" between Russia and the US. He said:

"I believe that what we're seeing now may be the beginning of a new arms race, one even more dangerous and unpredictable than we saw during the Cold War.

"For, as we know, we now live in a multi-polar world, one in which the US and Russia no longer have the monopoly on the proscribed weapons in the INF treaty, even if they do have the majority of war heads.

He added weapons could "once again" be based on European soil and urged Mr Field to try to develop a new treaty to supersede the INF.

Russia has denied violating the INF accord.