21:39 GMT +305 December 2019
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    Members of US 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command stands next to a Patriot surface-to-air missile battery during the NATO multinational ground based air defence units exercise Tobruq Legacy 2017 at the Siauliai airbase. (File)

    US Response to Russia's INF Suspension to Be in Field of Conventional Arms - Envoy to NATO

    © AP Photo / Mindaugas Kulbis
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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The United States is studying a possible response to Russia's suspension of compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), in order to protect itself from Russia's cruise missiles, US Permanent Representative to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said on Tuesday.

    Hutchison told reporters that the United States was seeking a response in the sphere of conventional weapons and also studying the possibility to create new defence systems amid Russia's suspension of compliance with the INF.

    Russia announced its suspencion of the INF treaty, but only after the US formally suspended its obligations under the accord and accused Moscow of breaching its terms through its use of 9M729 cruise missiles.

    Russia refuted the claims, pointing out that US missile defence systems deployed in Europe can be repurposed for offensive use and therefore are themselves in violation of the agreement.

    The INF treaty, signed by the US and the USSR in 1987, banned both countries from using land-based ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and missile launchers with ranges of 500–5,500 kilometres (short medium and intermediate-range).

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