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US pullout from INF Treaty to entail serious consequences for Europe, says Shoigu

"Far from everybody in Europe understands that this decision will result in for Europe as well", the minister said

MOSCOW, October 29. /TASS/. The United States’ decision to pull out from the Intermediate Nuclear Force Treaty will entail serious consequences for Europe, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting with visiting Greek counterpart Panos Kammenos on Monday.

"We are interested in Europe’s reaction to this decision by the US to quit the INF Treaty. We would like Europe to know and be aware of the effects that will follow, should intermediate range missiles be deployed in Europe," Shoigu said. "As far as intermediate and shorter range missiles are concerned, we believe that far from everybody in Europe understands that this decision will result in for Europe as well, to be more precise, for Europe in the first place. We believe that it would be correct for NATO and the European Union to hold a wide discussion of that decision."

On October 20, US President Donald Trump said that his country would quit the INF treaty, because Russia had allegedly violated it. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov described this decision as a dangerous step. Berlin and Beijing criticized that decision too, while NATO Blamed Trump’s move on Russia, which the alliance suspects of being in breach of the treaty.

The INF Treaty was inked in Washington on December 8, 1987 and took effect on June 1, 1988. The treaty outlawed deployed and non-deployed ground-based missiles of the intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers). In recent years Washington repeatedly accused Russia of INF treaty violations. Moscow strongly denied the charges and put forward its own counterclaims over Washington’s non-compliance.