Moscow is ready to respond if the US stations military bases near Russian borders, chairman of the Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky told Rossiya-24 TV channel.
"Let’s keep in mind that one way or another, some really talented people from Washington have had these ideas during the presidency of [Ukrainian President Pyotr] Poroshenko. However, this hasn’t been done. If you want my own opinion, then no, it is unlikely [that the US would station military bases in Ukraine]. However, attempts of this kind might take place," Slutsky is quoted as saying by TASS.
"In any case, Russia is ready to respond to such developments," he added. "Today, our armed forces are as capable as ever. So not a single hair on any Russian citizen’s head would be harmed," Slutsky concluded.
This question was posed to the Russian MP in relation to the bill on suspending Russia’s participation in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, approved by the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) on Tuesday.
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.
On February 1, US President Donald Trump and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo declared that Washington was suspending compliance with its obligations under the INF starting from February 2 and would quit the treaty altogether in six months’ time, because, they argued, Russia was in breach of its terms. In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 2 declared Moscow was suspending its participation in the agreement.
He issued orders to refrain from initiating negotiations with Washington on this issue, adding that it was up to the US side to advance towards a condition for an equitable and meaningful dialogue.