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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia to Closely Monitor Washington's Compliance With INF Treaty - Russian MFA

Sputnik News

17:34 13.12.2018(updated 18:18 13.12.2018)

The statement comes shortly after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington would suspend its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty in 60 days unless Russia "returns to full and verifiable compliance". Moscow, for its part, has consistently denied any violations of the treaty.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on Thursday that Moscow vehemently denies the US' groundless allegations of INF treaty violations by Russia.

"We strongly reject the unfounded accusations by the United States as unsubstantiated and untrue", Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

He further added that Moscow would closely monitor Washington's compliance with the treaty.

"In particular, this refers to the further development of programmes to develop missile weapons already launched by the US, whose production, possession and flight tests would contradict the goals and objectives of the treaty or would be a direct violation of its relevant provisions".

The United States' decision to suspend the implementation of obligations under the INF Treaty is legally void: there will be no legal consequences after the two months given by the Americans, Ryabkov said.

"Taking into account the US intention to withdraw from the treaty, presented to us through bilateral channels at a high political level as final and not subject to revision, we, however, remain open for a substantive and constructive dialogue aimed at the preservation of the INF treaty".

The diplomat added that Washington hadn't explained what the suspension of the treaty meant.

"The question is what exactly the American side is implying by 'suspension'. The United States did not provide us with any clarification on this matter. At the same time, it is obvious to specialists that there is virtually nothing to 'suspend' in the implementation of the INF. The elimination of weapons that fell within the scope of the treaty was carried out many years ago, and all verification procedures were completed long ago".

Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Moscow had never received documents from the US on the matter of alleged violations of the accord and reiterated that the accusations were baseless.

The minister's comments come on the heels of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's announcement that the US would suspend its obligations under the treaty within 60 days if Russia didn't return to full compliance.

The INF Treaty was inked in 1987 between the Soviet Union and the United States and obligated the parties to eliminate their ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles whose ranges were between 500 and 5,500 kilometres.


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