MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Russian Strategic Missile Forces take into account consequences of the United States’ possible withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, while planning their actions, Commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces Col. Gen. Sergei Karakaev said.
"The impact of the consequences of the US’ withdrawal from the INF Treaty, and the subsequent deployment of the US medium-range missiles in Europe and new threats to our security linked to this, are undoubtedly taken into account when planning the combat use of the Strategic Missile Forces," Karakaev told the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper in an interview.
The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 between the Soviet Union and the United States. The agreement obligated the parties to destroy their ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles whose ranges are between 500 and 5,500 kilometres (from 311 to 3,317 miles).
In recent years, Russia and the US have regularly accused each other of violating the INF Treaty. Russia has repeatedly stated that it strictly complies with its obligations under the contract. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that Moscow has very serious questions regarding the implementation of the treaty by the United States. In early December, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would suspend its adherence to the INF Treaty within 60 days unless Russia returned to full compliance with the agreement.
Moscow has repeatedly refuted US allegations that Russia has violated the INF treaty. In turn, Moscow has complained that launchers on US defence systems in Europe can fire cruise missiles at ranges that violate the INF's terms.
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