MOSCOW, December 9. /TASS/. US attempts to scare Russia with sanctions over alleged violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) are ridiculous, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Saturday.
Ryabkov’s commentary is posted on the Foreign Ministry’s website.
"Washington could not find a better moment than the 30th anniversary of the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles marked on December 8 for threatening their partner in the agreement which has become one of the cornerstones in reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons," Ryabkov said.
"As for recurrent attempts to frighten us with sanctions, they are just ridiculous," the diplomat said adding "It is high time for American politicians and diplomats to realize that economic and military pressure on Russia will not work."
The US’ increased propaganda accusing Moscow of non-compliance with the INF Treaty "might be a sign that Washington has set a course to withdraw from the treaty as some time ago they pulled out from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty)," Ryabkov said.
"We have been warning more than once and warn again that collapse of the INF Treaty would deliver a hard blow on weapons control and nuclear weapon nonproliferation," Ryabkov said. "The United States should realize what kind of responsibility it shoulders."
The Russian senior diplomat pointed out that Russia fully complies with the INF Treaty and will continue on its course.
"If the other side stops complying with it, we will be forced, as Russian President Vladimir Putin used to emphasize, retaliate in kind," he added.
Earlier, the US’ Politico reported that the Trump administration was levying new sanctions on Russia for alleged violations of the INF Treaty. The publication cited an anonymous senior administration official.