Moscow calls U.S. accusations of violating INF

The U.S.' attempts to discredit Russia by alleging that it has violated the 1987 Soviet-U.S. Treaty on the Elimination of their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Ranger Missiles, known also as the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), look biased and brazen, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The U.S.' attempts to discredit Russia by alleging that it has violated the 1987 Soviet-U.S. Treaty on the Elimination of their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Ranger Missiles, known also as the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), look biased and brazen, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"We have taken note of accusations leveled at Russia of violating the INF Treaty provisions contained in the report [by the U.S. Department of State on the Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments]," the Foreign Ministry said in a commentary available on its website.

"Another attempt to discredit Russia looks biased and brazen, especially considering how loosely the U.S. itself has applied the INF Treaty provisions on numerous occasions," the ministry said.

"We have repeatedly told American representatives about this and are repeating it again: we are seriously concerned about the use of target-missiles similar in their characteristics to intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles during missile defense tests. The same concerns American combat drones, which obviously fall under the treaty's definition of ground-launched cruise missiles. The issue of the Mk-41 launching systems, which the U.S. intends to deploy in Poland and Romania, has become especially pressing of late. These launching systems can be used for launching intermediate-range cruise missiles, and their appearance on the ground would grossly violate the INF Treaty," it said.

Washington is surely aware of all these problems but "is stubbornly evading a substantive discussion on them," the Russian Foreign Ministry said. "This raises serious doubts regarding sincerity of the U.S. official statements on its commitment to the INF Treaty's goals and objectives and preparedness to work together with Russia on implementing the treaty and increasing its viability. There is the impression that the leveling of farfetched accusations at Russia is aimed at distracting attention from the abovementioned American violations as a kind of smokescreen," it said.

"The worrisome situation concerning the INF's observance causes special concerns amid the continued purposeful and methodical destabilization of the global strategic stability system by Washington," it said.

"The Americans started this process in 2001 by unilaterally withdrawing from the ABM Treaty. Now this is being worsened by the accelerated and unlimited buildup of the U.S. global missile defense system and unwillingness to free territories of other states of American tactical nuclear arsenals deployed there, the development of the provocative Prompt Global Strike strategy, and excessive buildup of conventional weapons, including their offensive component," it said.

"It is very revealing that the U.S. is flatly refusing to take part in developing international agreements on preventing the deployment of weapons in space. In doing so, Washington is actually creating a new super-technological threat to the entire world capable of knocking down the strategic stability system on our planet," it said.

Read more: Facing economic and political pressure, where does Russia go from here?

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