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    Russia's INF Obligations Suspension Not Related to Arms Race – Upper House Chair

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia’s decision to respond in kind to the US move to suspend its obligations under the bilateral Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is not related to the arms race, speaker of the Russian upper house, Valentina Matviyenko, said, noting that ensuring the safety of the country was Moscow’s main goal.

    Matviyenko wrote on her blog on the Russian upper house's website that the United States brought the world to the edge, crossing which may bring some irreversible consequences. Particularly, this concerns the gradual undermining of arms control treaties, including the INF Treaty, by Washington, according to the upper house chair.

    "But [it was done] not to boost the arms race. Maintaining the necessary security level for our country and its citizens in the current situation will be ensured by implementing military and technical measures within the framework of the Russian budget’s defence items," Matviyenko pointed out.

    The upper house speaker also insisted that Russia was a "recognized leader of the movement for ensuring the fair world order."

    READ MORE: Russia Proposes That US Destroy Tomahawk Missile Launchers Falling Under INF

    Last week, the United States said it was suspending its obligations under the INF Treaty starting from February 2 and would start the withdrawal process, which would be completed within six months unless Moscow remedied its alleged violations of the bilateral arms control deal.

    On February 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow also suspended its obligations under the treaty in response to the US move.

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    arms race, INF Treaty, Valentina Matviyenko, United States, Russia
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