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Czech leader tells Mattis quitting nuclear deal would be bad

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, talks to journalists during a press conference with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, not shown, in Prague, Czech Republic, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. Mattis arrives in Prague to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1918 creation of the Czechoslovak state. (Roman Vondrous/CTK via AP) ** SLOVAKIA OUT **

PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic’s prime minister has told U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that a possible U.S. withdrawal from a landmark nuclear weapons treaty would be wrong.

Andrej Babis told reporters in Prague on Sunday that relations (with Russia) “aren’t ideal and we’re returning to Cold War times.”

Babis said that “it would be good for the superpowers to cooperate.”

President Donald Trump said that Russia has violated terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, which prohibits the U.S. and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched nuclear cruise missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (300 to 3,400 miles).

Russia has repeatedly denied producing or testing such a missile.

Babis also said the Czechs will keep troops in Afghanistan despite four recent fatalities there.

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