MOSCOW - US State Secretary Mike Pompeo claimed that Russia allegedly diminished the security of the United States amid tensions around the US plans to withdraw from a bilateral missile control treaty.

“[US] President [Donald] Trump’s made clear he wants very much to have a good relationship with the Russians. We need them to do a handful of things to change the behavior there. They’re causing challenges, trouble, reducing America’s security,” Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, released on the State Department website late on Friday.

Washington wanted Moscow to comply with its obligations under missile treaties, Pompeo continued. “If we can convince them and we should have dialogue with them – I did when I was CIA director; I spoke with my Russian counterpart – if we can have conversations that can cause them to change their behavior in a way that doesn’t put Americans at risk, this is an enormously good thing. And I have encouraged the President and other cabinet members to do exactly that,” the state secretary pointed out. Relations between Russia and the United States have deteriorated after Washington accused Moscow of meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. Moscow has noted, in its turn, that these allegations were unfounded since Washington had not provided any proof to substantiate them. Moreover, the two countries have been accusing each other of violating arms control deals, particularly the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. In late October, Trump said the United States would withdraw from the deal, claiming that Russia had violated it.

Moscow has condemned the plans and denied the violation.

The US decision to quit the deal was also met with criticism in other states, provoking fears that global security might be put at risk due to the possible escalation of an arms race.