US gives Russia evidence of 9M729 missile tests which violates INF Treaty
US Ambassador to Russia John Huntsman said that the US has given Russia the geographical coordinates and the dates of the tests done with the 9M729 missiles which the Pentagon believes violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
The Russian government has repeatedly claimed that the US has presented no evidence to support its accusations that Russia is in breach of the treaty, which prohibits missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 km.
“Russia conducted flight tests of the 9M729 at distances considerably exceeding 500 km. The US has given Moscow a significant amount of information that confirms the violations of the agreement, including geographical coordinates and the dates the tests were conducted, but Russia continues to deny that it committed any wrongful actions,” Huntsman wrote in a column for the Russian news agency RBC.
The INF Treaty was signed by the US and the USSR in 1987. They agreed to destroy all ground-based ballistic and cruise missiles of intermediate (1,000-5,500 km) or short (500-1,000 km) range, and not to produce or deploy such weapons in the future.
On February 1, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US was suspending the treaty, and will fully withdraw if Russia does not destroy the offending missiles within six months. The following day, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia is also suspending the treaty.
Previously, Andrea Thompson, US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, said that the treaty could be saved if Russia destroys the 9M729 missiles.