MOSCOW, the Russian Federation (BulgarianMilitary.com) – Amid the U.S. Department of State’s claims, Russia to either scrap the 9M729 missile system or to alter it in a verifiable manner, in order to remain in full compliance with its obligations under the INF Treaty, today, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, stated that his country has never violated these obligations and it continues to be committed to them. This was reported today (7th December) by the state-run news agency TASS, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
After saying Russia is not in material breach of its obligations under the INF Treaty, the presidential spokesman added: “As for the technological nuances, you should get information in response to the US Department of State’s statement either from the Russian Foreign Ministry or Defense Ministry.”
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On Thursday, Andrea Thompson, the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, said that Russia must either end its 9M729 missile system or modify it, reiterating the demand Russia to return “to full and verifiable compliance” with Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. During a teleconference, she told the media that 9M729 missile system “has the range that’s not in compliance, so either you rid the system, rid the launcher or change the system or it doesn’t exceed the range.”
She also stated that Russia is already aware of the steps the U.S. expects to be undertaken. “There’s a series of next steps we have we’ve outlined that Russia knows what those are, and we do as well. It’s part of the treaty provisions when we signed when we signed the INF. We’ve got interagency process taking next steps,” Andrea Thompson said further.
According to her, the U.S. administration was considering a number of scenarios for solving the issue, one of them is Russia to inspect the U.S. Aegis Ashore systems and their possible modification so they couldn’t fire Tomahawk missiles, and in turn, Russia to permit a 9M729 cruise missile inspection and maybe to modify it so that its range would be more limited. This was suggested by some members of the arms control community.
On 4the December, after a meeting of NATO’s foreign ministers in Brussels, the U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that the U.S. would leave the INF Treaty if Russia did not resume compliance with it within a deadline of 60 days.
On the other day (5th December), Russian President Vladimir Putin replied that Washington had not presented proof for breaching the treaty. He warned that Russia will respond properly in case of the U.S. pullout, despite it is against ruining this treaty.
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