Participation in the INF Treaty cannot be suspended, as the US intends to do, this agreement can be only openly violated through the development or relevant armaments, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview with the Kommersant daily on Tuesday, TASS reported.
Ryabkov said that Moscow does not deem Washington’s statement about suspending participation in the INF Treaty as an ultimatum, but it analyzes it from the practical point of view. In this context, the statement of the US side of December 4 that in case Russia does not stop violating the treaty, the US will suspend its commitments in 60 days and will start a six-month countdown until Washington’s exit "brings nothing fundamentally new in the existing situation - either from the international-legal point of view or in terms of military-political consequences," he said.
"It is necessary to understand that there is nothing really to suspend in the implementation of the INF Treaty, since the liquidation and verification procedures were completed in 2000," he went on to say. "Fundamentally, the Treaty can only be openly violated by the production and deployment of prohibited missile systems," he stressed.
He pointed out that although the United States promises not to deploy such systems within these 60 days, research work on this kind of weapons is already underway. In addition, as part of the creation of a global missile defense system, the deployment of elements of prohibited by the INF Treaty missile systems continues in Europe.
The senior diplomat stressed that Russia strictly complies with the agreement, and therefore Washington’s grounds for the decision to suspend participation in the INF Treaty are inconsistent.
"Thus, Washington’s decision is insignificant from the legal angle, and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty will stay in effect even after the 60 days designated by Americans expire, remaining binding for all parties," Ryabkov said.