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US accuses Russia of INF treaty violations to excuse its own — senator

Konstantin Kosachev stressed that Washington had failed to provide evidence proving that Moscow was violating the INF Treaty

MOSCOW, November 9. /TASS/. By accusing Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the United States tries to lend legitimacy to its own steps in violation of that document, Chairman of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Committee for Foreign Affairs Konstantin Kosachev told reporters on Thursday.

"By accusing Russia, the Americans try to lend legitimacy to their own steps taken in violation of that treaty. Apparently, these actions would be direct violations of the 1987 treaty. There can be no justification for this. By ruining that agreement, they further destabilize global strategic stability," Kosachev said.

The Russian senator stressed that Washington had failed to provide evidence proving that Moscow was violating the INF Treaty. "This treaty applies only to the ground-based weapons, but as it has been reiterated many times, Russia has no need to go back to this kind of weapons since the combat capabilities of our submarines, warships and Aerospace Force allow us to totally ensure the country’s security," he said.

According to Kosachev, the United States seeks to withdraw from the INF Treaty to continue increasing the capabilities of its Prompt Global Strike system. "This is why new kinds of weapons are developed, and, as we see now, the old ones are in demand again, too. I am afraid that it will be difficult to stop the Americans’ pursuit of this goal," he noted.

Kosachev expressed regret that "there are fundamental differences between the US national interests and the interests of collective security and stability."

The United States has been accusing Russia of breaching the treaty since July 2014, but Moscow has been rejecting Washington’s accusations.

Tit-for-tat measures

Russia will get a hundred percent right to take tit-for-tat measures, if the United States quits the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), Kosachyov said. 

"If and when the Americans quit this treaty, Russia, naturally, won’t be bound by any commitments under this treaty. We will have the freedom to act and, of course, it is up to the supreme commander-in-chief and military specialists to determine to which extent we will use this freedom. For politicians, the situation will be obvious: in this case, Russia will get the right for retaliatory measures with 100% confidence," the senator told journalists.

As the senator stressed, Russia should fight to the end to preserve the INF Treaty.

"It is too important and can’t be used to arrange any political dances around it," he stressed.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis stated on Thursday that the United States had secured NATO’s support for exerting pressure on Russia to fulfil the INF Treaty. He claimed that many NATO countries had their proofs that Russia did not intend to comply with this treaty.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier that Moscow was ready to discuss various aspects of the INF Treaty. As Russia’s top diplomat said, Russia has numerously confirmed its commitment to the treaty and spoken about its readiness to discuss the concerns of the parties to the Treaty.