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Russia's compliance with INF Treaty in question due to US actions — senior diplomat

"Accordingly, the rationale for maintaining our moratorium is evaporating. But no practical decisions have been made so far," Sergey Ryabkov stated

MOSCOW, October 2. /TASS/. Grounds for Russia's adherence to a unilateral moratorium on deploying intermediate-range and short-range missiles are disappearing given US actions, but thus far Moscow has not made any new decisions in this regard, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters.

"We are witnessing practical actions which, in my opinion, will inevitably lead to the appearance both in Europe and in the Asia-Pacific region of such US-made assets that were previously banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty - TASS). Accordingly, the rationale for maintaining our moratorium is evaporating. But no practical decisions have been made so far," the senior diplomat said in response to a question from TASS about the deployment of US missile systems, banned by the INF Treaty, on the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea.

The diplomat recalled that the unilateral moratorium was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin. "It was not met with an appropriate response from the US and its Western satellites," the senior diplomat said on the sidelines of the Russia-Latin America Parliamentary Conference.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the US has begun practice drills for transferring to Europe missile systems previously banned under the INF Treaty.

The US suspended its obligations under the Treaty on February 2, 2019, based on Russia's alleged violation of the agreement. Washington first made the announcement in July 2014. According to the US administration, Russia violated the treaty by building the Novator 9M729 missile. Moscow refuted these accusations and presented a number of counterclaims, for example, concerning elements of the US missile defense system in Europe.

In September 2019, it was reported that Putin sent a proposal to the leaders of several countries, including NATO members, to impose a moratorium on the deployment of the INF Treaty in Europe and elsewhere. The US subsequently effectively rejected the initiative.