20:40 GMT07 May 2021
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    On 4 December, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave Russia two months to "return to compliance" with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty or Washington would leave the accord on February 2.

    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated Friday that Russia's military capabilities guarantee the country's security irrespective of the US moves on the INF Treaty.

    "I think this [US withdrawing from the INF] is an inevitable prospect, and there will be no deviations from the path stated by President Trump and his national security assistant John Bolton when he was in Moscow. This game is played, the Americans will eventually reject the contract", he added.

    READ MORE: Chinese Missiles Are Behind US Pullout From INF — Russian Ex-Security Official

    Ryabkov also noted that Washington is moving towards a moratorium on all American obligations and expressed a fear that the new Strategic Arms Reduction (START) Treaty would meet the same fate as the INF agreement.

    "We have not violated the treaty. We have repeatedly offered the United States to prove why the missile, which they use to incriminate us, does not violate the treaty. Nevertheless, they continue to stick to their position, arguing that it was Russia that violated the treaty, so that they had a reason to suspend it", the diplomat added.

    On 26 December, the Kremlin stated that Russia's Defence Ministry had test-launched an Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, which flies 27 times faster than the speed of sound and can carry megaton-class nuclear weapons. It was launched from the southern Ural Mountains and successfully hit a practice target on Kamchatka 6,000 kilometres (3,700 miles) away.


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    Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), missile, Sergei Ryabkov, US, Russia
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