Washington has confirmed its decision to withdraw from the INF treaty is final, Russian deputy foreign minister said, adding that Moscow will ‘take measures’ if American missiles that threaten its security are placed in Europe.
The Deputy FM said that Moscow will respond to possible attempts to place short and intermediate range nuclear-capable missiles in Europe if US decides to go on with this plan.
“We’ll be forced to come up with effective compensating measures. I’d like to warn against pushing the situation towards the eruption of new ‘missile crises.’ I am convinced that no sane country could be interested in something like this,” he said.
“Russia isn’t threatening anybody, but have the necessary strength and means to counter any aggressor,” Ryabkov added.
Back in October, President Donald Trump warned that Washington was planning unilateral withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces in Europe (INF treaty) because “Russia has not adhered to the agreement.” The US leader also promised that the country would keep boosting its nuclear arsenal until Russia and China “come to their senses.”
Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington will suspend its obligations under the treaty within 60 days if Russia does not “return to compliance.”
Signed in late 1988, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces in Europe (INF) agreement was considered a milestone in ending the arms race between the US and the USSR.
In recent years, Moscow and Washington have repeatedly accused each other of violating the INF treaty deal. While the US has alleged that Russia has developed missiles prohibited by the treaty, Russia insists that the American anti-missile systems deployed in Eastern Europe can actually be used to launch intermediate-range cruise missiles.