Russia abides by the 1987 INF Treaty banning short- and medium-range ballistic and cruise missiles and will treat any possible attempts by Washington to breach this document while accusing Moscow of allegedly failing to observe it, negatively, a Russian diplomatic source told Interfax.
"We have not violated the treaty. There is no evidence able to prove that we are allegedly deploying something or plan to deploy," he said.
Judging by public statements, the United States has two points of view concerning measures that could be taken toward Russia, which has been accused by Washington of breaching the INF Treaty, the source said.
"One theory suggests that, as they say, 'adequate' measures will be taken without violating the INF treaty. One can presume that, in particular, this could involve increasing the number of sea-based missiles, which are not banned by this treaty even though they have a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers," he said.
"The second idea is that this could be done even in violation of the treaty. Such statements have also been made. Naturally, our response will be negative," the source said.
"The upshot is that the U.S. is considering the possibility of breaching the treaty, which has been in force since 1988. How can we treat that? Decent people ought to observe the treaty instead of threatening to violate it," the source said.
Similar threats were also voiced at a session of the U.S. Congress in December 2014, he said.
"It means that they are repeating most of what they said before. Such 'mouthpiece' diplomacy is counterproductive. Such methods will not work with Russia," the source said. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said in Congress on Wednesday that the Pentagon was considering options to respond to Russia's alleged violations of the INF Treaty. He warned Russia of possible political, diplomatic and military consequences.
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