LONDON, April 17. /TASS/. The Russian embassy in Britain believes that the House of Commons Defense Committee’s report on the Intermediate Nuclear Force Treaty is one-sided and it emphatically dismisses the conclusions the authors made, the embassy’s spokesman told TASS when asked for a comment on the report issued at the beginning of April. The report blames the collapse of the INF Treaty on Moscow.
"We have closely studied the British legislators’ report, which, in our opinion distorts the real state of affairs over the INF Treaty and contains biased comments. We categorically dismiss groundless allegations Russia is in breach of the INF Treaty. The responsibility for the treaty’s collapse should be placed squarely on the United States. Washington deliberately caused a stalemate by dismissing our proposal for settling mutual counterclaims on the basis of mutual transparency," the diplomat said.
Russia has repeatedly expressed concern over Washington’s non-compliance with the treaty. "As US media have said citing Pentagon officials, the United States plans to test an intermediate range ground-based missile in August and a ballistic missile in November. It is obvious that in the context of a prolonged ban on such weapons it would be impossible to arrange for their production and make preparations for tests within such tight deadlines, in just several months. Consequently, the United States has conducted the related work for a long time," the embassy official said.
He recalled that Moscow "systematically puts the focus on the fact that on the pretext of using target missiles for testing its missile defense system the United States has been working on ground-based intermediate range missiles-related technologies."
"We have also said more than once that since 2015 the US missile defense in Romania has been equipped with launchers capable of firing cruise missiles from the ground. In 2020, such launchers are to emerge at the facility the United States is building in Poland. Regrettably, British legislators have preferred to ignore these and other well-known facts," the Russian embassy’s official said.
On February 1, US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo declared that the United States was suspending compliance with its obligations under the INF Treaty starting from February 2 and would pull out from the treaty six months later, because in its opinion Russia violated the treaty. In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 2 paused Moscow’s participation in the INF Treaty, too. Also, he issued instructions to refrain from initiating talks with Washington on this issue, adding that from that moment on it was up to the United States to "ripen" for conducting an equitable and meaningful dialogue.