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US Has No Plans to Deploy Nuclear-Armed Systems in Post-INF Europe - Pentagon

Sputnik News

05:04 02.02.2019(updated 05:06 02.02.2019)

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States does not have any plans to deploy missiles or nuclear-armed systems in Europe after exiting the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF), US Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, David Trachtenberg, said at a forum.

"There are no plans… to go forward and deploy missiles in Europe or nuclear armed systems in Europe", Trachtenberg said on Friday. The current situation, he added, is nothing like the circumstances that led to the INF Treaty in the 1980s.

Russia's foreign ministry in a statement said the United States exited the INF agreement because it wants to impose on the world a set of rules that satisfies Washington's own opportunistic foreign policy needs.

The ministry also said that Moscow consistently, continuously and unconditionally fulfills its commitments in the field of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.

The INF Treaty, signed by the United States and Soviet Union in 1987, bans all ground-launched ballistic missiles with ranges between 310 and 3,400 miles.

The United States has repeatedly claimed that Russia's 9M729 missile violated the terms of the INF treaty, allegations repeatedly denied by Moscow. Russia, for its part, has organized a special briefing on the disputed missile of 9M729 ballistic system for foreign military attaches.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, military attaches and representatives of CSTO, BRICS, EU and NATO military-diplomatic corps, as well as some other European and Asian countries were invited to the briefing. However, US, UK, French and German, as well as EU and NATO representatives, did not attend the briefing.

Russia has repeatedly stressed that US defense systems in Europe are equipped with launchers capable of firing cruise missiles at intermediate ranges.

US President Donald Trump has announced the United States would suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty beginning on 2 February and will start the withdrawal process within six months.

Meanwhile, a senior Trump administration official said Friday that the DoD is examining options to enhance US capabilities after Washington withdraws from the INF Treaty.

In recent years, Moscow and Washington have regularly accused each other of violating the INF Treaty. Russia has repeatedly stated that it strictly complies with its obligations under the contract. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has noted that Moscow has very serious questions regarding the implementation of the treaty by the United States.

In a Time magazine essay published in early December, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who signed the INF with then-US President Ronald Reagan in 1987, said one of his main accomplishments with the United States was the effort to destroy thousands of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons, historic results that were now at risk as the world faces a new arms race. Only US-Russian joint efforts can avert a devastating war and restore a more just and human world order, the former Soviet premier concluded in the essay.


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