MOSCOW, August 5. /TASS/. US allies who choose to place American intermediate and short-range missiles on their territory are agreeing to become a potential nuclear target, chairman of the Russian Federation Council's Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev told TASS on Monday.
Earlier on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the need to resume negotiations on ensuring strategic stability and security between Russia and the US. "Despite what has happened [the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty], we still count on the common sense, the feeling of responsibility of American colleagues and their allies before their peoples and before the entire international community," the Russian president stressed. "In order to avoid chaos, in which there are no rules, restrictions or laws, it is necessary once again to weigh all possible dangerous consequences and start a serious dialogue without ambiguities and in substance," Putin noted.
"We have to make it absolutely clear, before propaganda campaigns begin saying 'Why us? We’ve just let the US place its missiles on our territory, but they are aimed exclusively against terrorists (Iran, North Korea, Syria and so on)'. No, this is not going to work. Those who place missiles automatically and willingly become a nuclear target with several minutes of flight time," Kosachev explained.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987, took effect on June 1, 1988. It applies to deployed and non-deployed ground-based missiles of intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers). Washington on many occasions had accused Russia of violating the accord, but Moscow vehemently dismissed all accusations and, in its turn, expressed grievances over Washington’s non-compliance.
On August 2, the Russian Foreign Ministry officially confirmed that the operation of the Intermediate Nuclear Force Treaty has been terminated at the initiative of the United States.