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Putin submits INF Treaty suspension bill to State Duma

The State Duma’s Council will discuss the bill within an hour and set a date for its consideration

MOSCOW, May 30. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday submitted to the State Duma a bill on the suspension of the Intermediate Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty, the speaker of the lower house, Vyacheslav Volodin, has told the media.

"Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted to the State Duma a draft federal law on Russia’s suspension of the Soviet-US treaty on the elimination of intermediate and shorter range missiles," Volodin said.

"The State Duma’s Council will discuss the bill within an hour and set a date for its consideration," he stated, adding that under the bill "the president is empowered to make a decision to resume the operation of the treaty." The law will take effect as of the moment of its official publication, Volodin said.

The Soviet Union and the United States concluded the INF Treaty in Washington on December 8, 1987. It came into force on June 1, 1988 to outlaw intermediate range (1,000-5,500 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers) ground-based missiles. The obligations under the treaty were fulfilled by June 1991. The Soviet Union eliminated 1,846 missiles and the United States, 846.

On February 1, 2019, US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo declared the United States was suspending compliance with the INF Treaty starting from February 2 and would complete its pullout from the treaty within six months, because Russia was allegedly in breach of the agreement. In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was pausing its participation in the treaty. He issued orders to refrain from initiating talks on this problem with Washington, adding that the US side was to "ripen" for conducting an equitable and meaningful dialogue.