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    'Major Blow' to Global Stability: Russian Lawmakers React to Trump's INF Pullout

    © AFP 2018 / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The United States decision to leave INF under the pretext of alleged Russian violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) was condemned by Russian Lawmakers.

    On Saturday, US President Donald Trump announced the country’s withdrawal from the INF treaty over the alleged Russian violations of the agreement.

    “US President Donald Trump’s decision to leave the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is not surprising to us but we hoped that the common sense would prevail. It is obvious that the United States has no evidence proving Russia’s violations of the treaty’s provisions,” a member of the Russian parliament's upper house's defense committee, Frants Klintsevich, told Sputnik.

    The lawmaker pointed out that Trump’s decision to leave the INF Treaty was not in line with the interests of its European allies.

    “[The United States] wants to drag us, like the Soviet Union, into an arms race. It will not succeed. I have no doubts that our country will manage to ensure its security under any circumstances,” Klintsevich added.

    Russian member of the parliament's upper house Alexey Pushkov also called on Sunday the US decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) the second major blow to the global stability system along with the 2002 US exit from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty).

    "Trump announced the US withdrawal from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. If the United States withdraws [from the INF Treaty], that will be the second major blow to the whole global system of strategic stability. The first blow was the US [decision on] exit from the ABM Treaty in 2001. Once again the United States is an initiator of the treaty's denouncement," Pushkov wrote on his Twitter page.

    READ MORE: Washington Seeks 'Pretext' to Abandon INF Treaty — Russian Envoy to US

    The lawmaker pointed out that the recent statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin that Moscow would resort to nuclear weapons only in case of a foreign nuclear aggression meant that Russia would not allow the US nuclear superiority.

    "Only that can prevent a possible nuclear aggression. The United States is pushing the world back to the Cold War," Pushkov added.

    The 1987 INF Treaty prohibits the development, deployment and testing of ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles with ranges between 300 and 3,400 miles.

    Related:

    Washington Seeks 'Pretext' to Abandon INF Treaty - Russian Envoy to US
    US Mk-41 Systems Deployment in Romania, Poland Contradicts INF Treaty – Moscow
    'Most Plausible Conclusion': NATO Sec Gen Alleges Russia Breached INF Treaty
    Tags:
    withdrawal, nuclear, INF, Donald Trump, United States, Russia
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