“Indeed, we have seen statements from various sides, a statement from the NATO leadership, the North Atlantic Alliance. Certainly, it’s about escalating the situation, it’s largely about manipulating the facts to camouflage the true goals to get the United States of America out of the INF Treaty", Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday.
The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by the then head of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and then US President Ronald Reagan. The leaders agreed to destroy all cruise or ground-launched ballistic missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometres (310 and 3,400 miles).
Nord Stream-2 Politicization Risks
Peskov also addressed the political issues around the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project.
"The risks associated with the politicization of the Nord Stream, the risks associated with blatant manifestations of unfair competition from third countries in relation to the Nord Stream, exist. We see them well and are aware of this," he stressed.
Reaction to Kerch Strait Incident
The presidential spokesman repeated that the destiny of the Ukranian sailors, detained by the Russian Border Guards in Kerch Strait would be decided by a court, and Kremlin would not intervene in legal procedure despite the criticism from abroad.
“The voiced criticism… and so on — this is not a reason for Russia to give up the procedures prescribed by law for violators of the state border. These procedures are carried out and will continue to be carried out,” Peskov told reporters when asked about the possibility of imposition of sanctions on Russia and the Nord Stream-2 project.
He noted that Moscow would likely study Kiev's proposals on exchanging the detained Ukrainian sailors if it received such proposals, but it was not sure about Kiev's response.
According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the incident was a provocation prepared as a pretext to introduce martial law in Ukraine ahead of the presidential election.