WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States is ready to act in response to Russia’s alleged violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), however, it wants to avoid an escalation, the spokesperson for US Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, Rose Gottemoeller, told Sputnik on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Russian Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee Chairman Viktor Ozerov told RIA Novosti that Moscow could drop out of a Soviet-era nuclear treaty with Washington if the United States moves new B61-12 guided nuclear bombs to Germany.
"While the United States wants to avoid the action-reaction cycles of the past, the United States and its allies will act to deny Russia any military advantage if it persists in its violation," spokesperson Alexandra Bell said.
"Regarding the threat… about a withdrawal from the INF, it appears to be the latest in a series of attempt to divert the world’s attention away from their violation of the INF Treaty," Bell added.
In 2014, Washington accused Moscow of not complying with the treaty by testing an unarmed ground-launched cruise missile.
Russia has repeatedly dismissed all US claims and expressed concern over the establishment of a US-designed ballistic missile defense system in Europe. A group of European countries, including Poland, Romania, Spain and Turkey, had agreed to deploy elements of the system on their territories.
Bell noted that Washington values the INF Treaty and believes it benefits the security of the United States, its allies, partners as well as Russia.
"The United States is committed to returning Russia to compliance to ensure the continued viability of the INF Treaty," Bell concluded.
On Tuesday, German media reported that the United States would station 20 next-generation nuclear weapons at the Buechel military air base in western Germany, information obtained from a line item included in the 2015 US budget.
The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed concern about upgraded US nuclear deployment plans, saying this would also infringe on the 1970 Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), ratified by more than 190 states.
The United States and Russia signed the INF Treaty in 1987, banning nuclear and conventional ground-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500-5,500 kilometers (300-3,400 miles).