Russia promises to respond to US withdrawal from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

The press secretary of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, announced that Russia reserves the right to respond to the United States withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

She did not specify what exact measures could be taken.

Earlier, on February 1, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke in support of the deal. She said that Germany "will do everything possible" to maintain the contract, writes Deutsche Welle. According to Merkel, it is necessary to continue the dialogue with Russia for the next six months, until the contract expires.

The German chancellor accused Moscow of non-compliance with the agreement. The US allies in NATO, who also made a statement on February 1, shared the same opinion.

Earlier, the United States announced its was withdrawing from the INF Treaty.

Last October, President Donald Trump announced that he plans to withdraw from the agreement, citing Russia's failure to fulfill its obligations. President Ronald Reagan and the leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, signed the treaty in 1987.

Washington claims that Moscow has violated the INF Treaty, creating and deploying a 9M729 missile system. According to a source in the State Department, the United States recently informed its Western allies that Russia has already deployed four divisions armed with a 9M729 cruise missile. Currently, Russia has about a hundred such missiles.

Moscow denies all accusations, stating that the range of the 9M729 missile is 480 kilometers, which is 20 kilometers less than the lower limit set by the treaty.

On December 4, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave Russia sixty days to return to the compliance with the contract, setting a deadline of February 2, after which the United States will give up its obligations under the agreement if Russia does not return to its observance.

  Russia, USA, INF Treaty