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Russian ambassador calls US accusations of INF treaty violation 'ungrounded'

March 02, 8:26 UTC+3

The Russian ambassador to the US has commented on a potential collapse of the INF Treaty

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© EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

WASHINGTON, March 2. /TASS/. Russia considers accusations made by the US government against Moscow of the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty violation to be ungrounded and lacking any technical data, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said Thursday.

"The address (of Russian President) Vladimir Putin (to the Federal Assembly) focused on strategic arms, which are beyond the scope of the INF Treaty’s restrictions. I should stress once again that when developing its nuclear capacity, Russia has not breached a single agreement in the area of disarmament and arms control area. What the Russian Defense Ministry and the Russian military and industrial industry are doing is in strict accordance with our international obligations," he said.

Moscow considers accusations of violation of the treaty to be ungrounded, the diplomat said. "Those accusations have neither technical data of the launch platform, which allegedly fails to comply with the agreement, nor any in-flight measurement data behind them," he said, adding that in its turn Moscow is "seriously concerned regarding fulfillment of the treaty’s terms by the United States."

"The anti-Russia propaganda campaign with reference to the INF Treaty increasingly suggests that Washington is heading for withdrawal from this agreement, same as a while back it quit the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty," Antonov said. "We have repeatedly called for a professional discussion of this issue with our American colleagues. We have repeatedly warned and are warning once again that a collapse of the INF Treaty would be a terrible blow to the arms control and nonproliferation regime," he added.

A potential collapse of the INF Treaty would be a terrible blow to the arms control and nonproliferation regime, he said. "The anti-Russia propaganda campaign with reference to the INF Treaty increasingly suggests that Washington is heading for withdrawal from this agreement, same as a while back it quit the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty," he said.

"We have repeatedly called for a professional discussion of this issue with our American colleagues. We have repeatedly warned and are warning once again that a collapse of the INF Treaty would be a terrible blow to the arms control and nonproliferation regime," the diplomat added.

In his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on March 1, 2018, President Putin said that Russia had launched the development and testing of state-of-the-art systems of strategic arms, such as the Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and the Kinzhal hypersonic complex, being created in response to Washington’s withdrawal from the ABM Treaty on a unilateral basis and practical deployment of the system on the US territory and beyond. President stressed that Russia’s growing military capabilities are a strong guarantee of global peace.

Later US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said that Washington is concerned about Putin’s statements on development and testing of new types of weapons, and suggested that those statements allegedly confirm the view that Moscow directly violates its obligations within international agreements, including the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

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