Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia is looking forward to step up a dialogue with the United States over disarmament and strategic stability.

Putin said, “I think that reaching concrete measures in the field of disarmament would contribute to strengthening international stability. Russia has the political willingness to do it. Now it is up to the U.S.” to decide”.

Putin met Pope Francis and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Thursday.

Russian Ambassador, Gennady Gatilov said, “Russia is still keeping the door open for substantive, constructive and goal-oriented dialogue with the United States on all issues of strategic stability, based on mutual respect, and due consideration of each other’s interests, as well as of those of the international community,”

The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 between the former Soviet Union and the US on the elimination of ground-based intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles.

The scrapping of the treaty threatens to drag the two major military powers back into a Cold-War-style arms race.

He further said that the US move was a “sad” one and that judging by recent statements from Washington, “it is ready to resume production, and at a later stage the deployment of missiles previously banned by the treaty”.

Instead of returning to the legal framework of the INF treaty and discussing the problematic issues within the mechanism provided for by accord, Gatilov said the US launched “a propaganda campaign against Russia”.

“Of course, it will create a new factor which we will have to take into account as a threat to our national security,” said the Ambassador.