14:38 GMT13 May 2021
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    The Russian upper chamber of parliament, the Federation Council, is to discuss on Wednesday a law on the suspension by Russia of the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF), the draft of which was submitted by President Vladimir Putin.

    Under the bill, the head of state is granted the right to make decisions on the resumption of the INF Treaty. The document had already passed the hearings in the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma. 

    Chairman of the Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, told reporters earlier that the council would support this law, stressing that the decision to suspend the treaty was a forced step. She called the decision of the President of the Russian Federation "absolutely correct, as it gives Russia the right "to develop weapons that will meet the national interests of Russia and the interests of national security."

    US President Donald Trump announced in October that his country intended to withdraw from the INF Treaty over Russia's alleged violations of the agreement. Moscow has refuted the accusations, saying that Washington itself is breaching the terms of the deal.

    On 2 February, the United States formally suspended its obligations under the INF Treaty and triggered the six-month withdrawal process. Washington said it would terminate this procedure if Russia agreed to be compliant with the pact. Moscow responded by suspending its participation in the treaty as well.

    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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    Valentina Matvienko, Russia's Federation Council, INF treaty, Russia
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