Moscow once again calls on the US and its allies to join the initiative to declare a moratorium on the deployment of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing held on the sidelines of the Terra Scientia All-Russia Educational Youth Forum on Friday.
"We once again call on Washington and its allies to show a responsible attitude and join the moratorium, which would increase predictability in military and political affairs," TASS quoted Zakharova as saying.
"Such a step would show the entire international community that global security means something to them like it does to Russia," she added.
INF Treaty issue
The INF Treaty, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987, took effect on June 1, 1988. It applied to deployed and non-deployed ground-based missiles of intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers). Washington repeatedly accused Russia of violating the accord, but Moscow vehemently dismissed all accusations and, in its turn, expressed grievances over Washington’s non-compliance.
On February 1, 2019, US President Donald Trump and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced the suspension of Washington’s obligations under the INF starting on February 2.
On February 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow was also suspending the agreement. He handed down instructions to refrain from initiating talks with Washington on the issue and stressed that the US needed to show willingness for an equal and substantive dialogue. Putin signed a decree suspending Moscow’s compliance with the Treaty on March 4. On July 3, the head of state signed the decree into law after it had been approved by both houses of parliament.
On August 2, Washington formally withdrew from the INF Treaty and the Russian Foreign Ministry, in turn, officially confirmed that the Treaty had been terminated at the United States’ initiative.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said at a briefing on Monday that if there was no moratorium on the deployment of such weapons, Moscow would improve its missile capabilities.