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Putin signs law suspending INF treaty by Russia

The law specifies that the head of state will decide on Russia’s renewal of the treaty

MOSCOW, July 3. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law the bill suspending the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty by Russia.

The law passed by the Russian lower house of parliament, State Duma, on June 18 and approved by the upper house, Federation Council, on June 26, has been published on the official portal of legal information.

The law specifies that the head of state will decide on Russia’s renewal of the treaty. The law comes into force on the day of its official publication.

Earlier, Chair of the Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee Viktor Bondarev said, "Making the decision on suspending the Treaty is a forced and necessary measure and an appropriate approach to the current arms control system."

The US began accusing Russia of breaking the INF treaty in July 2014. Since then, Washington has been repeating its allegations on many occasions, whereas Moscow has been rejecting them and advancing counter-claims concerning the implementation of the treaty by the US.

The United States suspended its liabilities under the INF Treaty starting February 2, 2019. The US administration warned that Washington would quit the Treaty within six months unless Russia came into compliance with the agreement. The US insists Russia destroy its long-range ground-based cruise missile systems 9M729, which do not conform to the limited range allowed under the INF treaty, as Washington alleges.

Russian President Vladimir Putin responded in kind on February 2, saying that Moscow would suspend the Cold War-era treaty.

The INF, or the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, Treaty was signed between the former Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987 and entered into force on June 1, 1988. In 1992, following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, the treaty became multilateral with the former Soviet republics - Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine - as successors. The INF Treaty covered deployed and non-deployed ground-based short-range missiles (from 500 to 1,000 kilometers) and intermediate-range missiles (from 1,000 to 5,500 kilometers).