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US retrieves weapons previously banned under INF treaty — Russian ambassador

Anatoly Antonov emphasized that such steps were another powerful blow to strategic stability

WASHINGTON, April 17. /TASS/. The United States is bringing destabilizing weapons, previously banned under the Intermediate and Shorter-Range Missile Treaty (INF) into the limelight for operational deployment in the Asia-Pacific Region, Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, has told the media.

"The Pentagon's public demonstration of its ability to deploy operational missiles, previously banned under the INF Treaty, in the Asia-Pacific Region causes deep concern. In fact, the Americans are bringing to the forefront a whole class of destabilizing weapons in attempts to ensure their military superiority over adversaries," Antonov said in a comment on the Russian embassy's Telegram channel.

He emphasized that such steps were another powerful blow to strategic stability.

"Asia has already accumulated a lot of 'hot' material and the region is being rapidly militarized," Antonov said about the ongoing US-Philippine exercises Salaknib 24 in the northern Philippines. As the US Indo-Pacific Command has said the US forces for the first time deployed a medium-range missile system of the MRC (Mid-Range Capability) class.

Earlier, the US Army said the US was going to deploy medium-range missiles in Asia to deter China. Under the provisions of the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, signed between the Soviet Union and the United States in 1987, Washington could not deploy missile launchers, land-based ballistic missiles and cruise missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. However, in 2019, the US withdrew from this agreement.