MOSCOW, June 11. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister will point to the unrealistic nature of Washington’s demands concerning the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty at a meeting with US State Department's Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson in Prague, as he himself told reporters on the sidelines of the Primakov Readings international forum in Moscow on Tuesday.
"There is no logic in them, these demands have nothing to do with reality. We have already emphasized this fact and will try to make our American colleagues understand it, particularly tomorrow, when I will meet with Ms Thompson in Prague to discuss issues related to all aspects of strategic stability," he said.
"Everyone knows well that Russia hasn’t violated any provision of the Treaty and it is in fact irrational to demand that we destroy the 9M729 missile, there are some other reasons behind this demand," Ryabkov pointed out, adding that the United States actually sought an excuse to increase its own nuclear capability amid the growing potential of other countries.
INF: from inception to suspension
The INF Treaty, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987, took effect on June 1, 1988. It applies to deployed and non-deployed ground-based missiles of intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers). Washington on many occasions had accused Russia of violating the accord, but Moscow vehemently dismissed all accusations and, in its turn, expressed grievances over Washington’s non-compliance.
Washington for the first time accused Moscow of violating the Treaty in July 2014 and has been reiterating its allegations since then.
On February 1, US President Donald Trump and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced the suspension of Washington’s obligations under the INF starting February 2. Washington is determined to withdraw from the treaty in six months unless Russia returns to "real and verifiable" compliance.
On February 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow was also suspending the agreement. He handed down instructions to refrain from initiating talks with Washington on the issue and stressed that the US needed to show willingness for an equal and substantive dialogue.
Putin signed a decree suspending Moscow’s compliance with the Treaty on March 4.