ANKARA, September 26. /TASS/. Turkey is studying the proposal by Russian President Vladimir Putin to introduce a moratorium on deploying intermediate-and shorter-range missiles in Europe and other regions, the Turkish Foreign Ministry told TASS on Thursday.
"The necessary estimations will be made after a thorough study of the proposals included in the letter by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, addressed to our Mr. President [of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan] on September 18, 2019," the Turkish ministry informed.
Earlier, the Kommersant daily informed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had sent a proposal to the leaders of several countries, including NATO member states, to introduce a moratorium on deploying intermediate-and shorter-range missiles in Europe and other regions. According to the daily, the Russian leader sent letters to several non-NATO states, including China. He also addressed his proposal to High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
On Thursday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Putin’s proposal has been circulated "among the main countries or Europe and Asia and international organizations."
Earlier, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said that Stoltenberg had received a message from the Russian authorities containing a proposal for imposing a moratorium on the deployment of intermediate and shorter range missiles in Europe and other regions but found it unrealistic because Moscow had allegedly deployed its missile SSC-8 (also known as 9M729).
The United States pulled out from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on August 2. The US said that its actions were provoked by Russia’s refusal to comply with the American ultimatum-like demand to eliminate the new 9M729 cruise missiles, which Washington and its NATO allies believe to violate the INF Treaty. Moscow has been rejecting these accusations, saying that the technical parameters of the 9M729 missiles are within the parameters allowed by the treaty and laying counterclaims to Washington.
On August 23, Putin issued orders to analyze the level of threat in the wake of the United States’ August 18 test of a new version of a cruise missile and take measures to prepare for a symmetrical response.