Moscow will give a timely military and technical response, if risks arise for its security due to the US pullout from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said on Thursday, TASS reported.
The United States has withdrawn from the INF Treaty proceeding from the interests of achieving geopolitical superiority in all the theaters of military operations and "has actually forced its allies to join its unfounded version why such a decision was made," the high-ranking Russian diplomat.
"Our position on the INF remains perfectly clear: we believe that the treaty’s regime was a cornerstone of European security," Grushko said, responding to a question from TASS.
"If a threat arises for Russia, we will give a military and technical response to it. Already now, we will take all necessary efforts to make this response timely with regard to developing such capabilities," the senior Russian diplomat stressed.
"Simultaneously, proceeding from the interests of maintaining peace in Europe, and the document had its European dimension apart from its strategic significance, we will not be deploying intermediate-range missiles in Europe and other regions as long as US missiles are not deployed there," the Russian deputy foreign minister said.
On February 1, US President Donald Trump and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced the suspension of Washington’s obligations under the INF Treaty starting February 2. Washington is determined to withdraw from the Treaty in six months unless Russia returns to "real and verifiable" compliance.
On February 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow was also suspending the Treaty. He handed down instructions to refrain from initiating talks with Washington on the issue and stressed that the US needed to show readiness for an equal and substantive dialogue.
On February 5, Trump mentioned the possibility of negotiating "a different agreement - adding China and others."
The INF Treaty, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987, took effect on June 1, 1988. It applies to deployed and non-deployed ground-based missiles of intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers). Washington on many occasions accused Russia of violating the Treaty but Moscow strongly dismissed all accusations and expressed grievances concerning Washington’s non-compliance.