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US taking steps in preparation for violating INF Treaty — Russian diplomat

Moscow believes that this activity runs counter to the INF treaty’s spirit and its goals and tasks,Sergei Ryabkov said

MOSCOW, June 28. /TASS/. The United States’ current policies are in fact tantamount to preparations for quitting the intermediate and shorter range missiles treaty, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told a round table meeting at the Federation Council (upper house of the Russian parliament) on Thursday.

"It is quite obvious that a certain potential is being created which on the condition of a corresponding political decision will make it possible to take a long stride forward and, in fact, to go beyond the bounds established by the INF treaty," he said.

"In other words, the Americans are conducting activities that deserve no name other than preparations for breaching the INF treaty. We believe that this activity at least runs counter to the INF treaty’s spirit and its goals and tasks," Ryabkov said.

"What it is particularly worrisome is that on the far-fetched pretext of violations by Russia the United States launches ever more ostensibly retaliatory military programs, rather provocative and fraught with violations of the INF treaty," Ryabkov said.

"The development has been announced of ground systems armed with a ballistic missile and of an anti-ship cruise missile having a range of 499 kilometers. At the same time the designers have openly declared it will be possible to promptly increase the range of these weapons, if need be," Ryabkov said. "Also, plans have been announced for research and development on a ground-based missile system with a gliding warhead having a range of up to 2,250 kilometers."