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Pentagon: US starts work on missiles prohibited by INF Treaty

March 15, 8:12 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

The Pentagon spokesperson added that preparations "include plans to test a conventional ground-launched missile"

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© Senior Airman Ian Dudley/Vandenberg Air Force Base via AP

WASHINGTON, March 15. /TASS/. The United States has launched the production of components to support developmental testing of conventional, ground launched missiles, Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza told TASS on Friday.

"With funding provided by Congress in FY19, the United States has commenced fabrication activities on components to support developmental testing of conventional, ground launched missiles," she said, when asked to comment on Pentagon’s plans to test two types of missiles prohibited by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. "The United States has not taken any irreversible steps at this point. In the unlikely event Russia returns to full and verifiable compliance before the end of the six month period, we will rescind our suspension and planned withdrawal from the Treaty," Baldanza stated.

"But absent such a change in Russia’s conduct, our decision to withdraw from the Treaty will stand, and the Treaty will end. We must be prepared for this eventuality. Our preparations along these lines include plans to test a conventional ground-launched missile," she added. Baldanza declined to name the specific date of the testing. "As we work through the prototype fabrication process, there are many factors that could come into play. For that reason, I won't provide exact timelines," she stressed.

"Russia alone is responsible for the demise of the treaty if it does not return to full and verifiable compliance by destroying its noncompliant systems by August 2, the end of the six month period," Baldanza stated.

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