The Russian Defense Ministry has commented on Western media reports alleging U.S. plans to deploy ground-based ballistic and cruise missiles in Europe to retaliate against Russian 'violations' of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and to deliver possible preemptive strikes on sites on the Russian territory.
"The measures U.S. sources are speaking about would mean the U.S. secession from the INF Treaty," Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on June 9.
"The Russian Defense Ministry is thoroughly analyzing information related to the fulfillment of the INF treaty, which is coming from various sources. Indeed, we have paid attention to the Western media reports," he said.
"Seeking to receive formal explanations from the U.S., we made an inquiry via military diplomatic channels and requested to present the position of the Pentagon as regards the statements ascribed to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. M. Dempsey," the deputy minister said.
"We have repeatedly declared Russia's adherence to the provisions of the INF Treaty. We think that redeployment of U.S. intermediate and shorter-range missiles in Europe and their positioning in other regions from where they can threaten Russia and other countries will have very negative implications for global security and stability. We cannot help but be concerned about this prospect," Antonov said.
"We reaffirm our readiness for professional debate of experts on all problems linked to the fulfillment of this treaty," the deputy minister said.
"If the United States is really interested in finding solutions for this treaty, it must give clear answers to the Russian concerns about its violation by the American side," Antonov stated.
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