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Russia says it will only install new anti-INF missiles if the US does it first

August 18, 2019


The Russian government has said it will refrain from deploying missiles in Europe and Asia against the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) as long as the US does not do so, as Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Sunday.

“We keep the door open. Until these systems appear in Europe, we will not do anything there; neither will we have them in Asia Pacific until they are located in that region,” he said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 channel.

The minister recalled that Russia had never given up the dialogue with the US on medium and short range missiles.

“We have been proposing it all the time between February and August,” the minister said, referring to the period of time during which the US suspended its commitments to the INF Treaty, until formalizing its withdrawal last day 2.

The United States completed that day its withdrawal from an agreement – signed by Washington and Moscow in 1987 – that Russia had already stopped applying on its part, given Moscow's refusal to destroy its SSC-8 missiles, that the United States and NATO say they contravene the Treaty.

Russia has categorically denied the accusations and held accountable against the United States for deploying cruise missile launch systems in Romania and Poland.

The Kremlin, just knowing the ratification of Washington, requested a moratorium on its missiles, as Putin tacitly stated about the presence of American systems, specifically the MK-41.

Russia has denied from the outset that it has breached any aspect of the agreement from the objective reason for the withdrawal from the United States. These missiles, the Kremlin argues, fall outside the range of autonomy prohibited by the treaty (between 500 and 5,500 kilometers). Therefore, he has refused to destroy this new system, as required by the United States.