According to the foreign ministry spokeswoman, Washington's talk about exiting the INF is an extremely dangerous step.
"This move is fraught with the serious risk of drawing entire regions of the world into an arms race. In this way, the situation around the treaty concerns not only Russia and the United States, but also other members of the international community," Zakharova said, speaking at a press briefing in Moscow on Thursday.
"On the whole we are getting the impression that Washington's movement toward exiting the INF is driven by a desire to ensure its own military superiority across the board and to guarantee a completely free hand for doing so," the foreign ministry spokeswoman added.
"The attempts to shift the blame on Russia are totally unacceptable, and the American side still hasn't even bothered to present any intelligible evidence to support its claims." Instead, the US was "trying to cover up its own direct and obvious violations of the INF by making groundless accusations against us," she added, referring to the US deployment of dual-use missile defense shield components in Romania and Poland which can be armed with ground-based nuclear-armed cruise missiles.
Commenting on the results of Wednesday's meeting of the Russia-NATO Council, Zakharova said that Moscow had shown a maximum readiness to clarify any possible issues the US may have related to INF Treaty.
"Russia's representatives emphasized [at the meeting] that Moscow is invariably interested in ensuring the treaty's viability, is firmly committed to the INF and strictly adheres to its provisions. They also emphasized Russia's readiness for a comprehensive and speedy clarification of the issues which cause the US concern, and set forth our own concerns, accumulating over many years, regarding the observance of the treaty by the US side," Zakharova said.
Moscow, Zakharova said, remains prepared to work on maintaining the viability of the INF Treaty, which she admitted was "not perfect." "But to do so we need a reliable and interested partner…The solution to the problem can only be found through a frank, equal and constructive dialogue. We are counting on Washington finally coming to recognize this."