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Russia says US knows it strictly complies with INF Treaty

IANS  |  Moscow 

fully adheres to the provisions of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which the US knows well, has said in response to the latest statements by the US and its allies that urged to return to full compliance with the agreement.

"strictly abides by the provisions of the INF Treaty, and the American side knows this," the ministry's said on Tuesday, commenting on the statements by officials of the US and the (NATO) on the matter, reported.

Earlier in the day, US said during a press conference in that the US would suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty in 60 days unless returns to full compliance with the agreement.

NATO later urged to take the "last chance" to preserve the key arms control agreement by demonstrating its compliance as requested by

The foreign ministers of NATO member countries said on Tuesday in a statement that they supported the US finding that Russia is in "material breach" of its obligations under the INF Treaty and called on Russia to return urgently to full and verifiable compliance.

In October, US said would pull out of the INF Treaty on account of Russia's alleged breach of the agreement, which repeatedly denied.

Echoing Zakharova's remarks, Vladimir Shamanov, of the Defense Committee of Russia's lower house of parliament, refuted the "groundless" accusations by the US and the NATO.

"Russia is not the kind of country one can give ultimatums. Russia, too, has questions for the US, ones that they have left unanswered. Hence, we are not going to reply to their false accusations," news agency quoted Shamanov as saying.

Russian officials warned that Moscow would take retaliatory measures if withdraws from the INF Treaty.

"We will answer in a reciprocal way: if the US leaves the INF Treaty and deploys medium-range and short-range missiles in Europe, Russia will increase the number of such missiles in the European part of its territory," Vladimir Dzhabarov, of the of Russia's upper house, was cited by news agency as saying.

It is also possible for Russia to deploy intermediate-range missiles, and primarily cruise missiles, in Latin American countries like Cuba, once the INF Treaty is terminated, according to Leonid Ivashov, former of the Russian Defence Ministry's main department for international military cooperation.

The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 between the and the US on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles. The deal marked the first-ever pact reached by Washington and Moscow on nuclear disarmament and a major step forward in restricting arms race.

Moscow and Washington have been accusing each other of violating the agreement in recent years amid increasing tension between the two countries.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, December 05 2018. 05:44 IST