The Russian side does not exclude the possibility of lifting the moratorium on the deployment of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles (INF) in Europe due to the supply of more long-range weapons by Washington to Kyiv. This was stated to journalists on Tuesday, December 6, by Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Ryabkov.
“I would not like to go into hypothetical scenarios, the proposal to introduce such a moratorium remains in force. But it is clear that it is also impossible to approach the position dogmatically, and if escalation scenarios continue to be used by our opponents <...> it will be possible to consider the situation from this angle too, ”said the diplomat.
He clarified that this is a warning to opponents so that they do not make rash moves and do not test Russia’s patience.
So far, according to Ryabkov, Moscow’s position on the INF Treaty has not changed, but there is no need to invent reasons for the Russian side to start reconsidering something.
In October, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said that Western supplies to Kyiv long-range multiple launch rocket systems are the fastest way to escalate the conflict in Ukraine.
In April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov indicated that Western countries had rejected Moscow’s proposal for a mutual moratorium on the deployment of intermediate and shorter-range missiles.
The Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range Missiles was concluded between the USSR and the United States in 1987 and prohibited the two states from producing and deploying ballistic and cruise missiles of intermediate and shorter range.
In 2019, Washington began the procedure for withdrawing from the INF Treaty, accusing Moscow of failing to comply with the points of the document due to the presence of the 9M729 missile, the flight range of which allegedly exceeds the permissible limits. In Russia, these accusations were denied and they declared their readiness to demonstrate the rocket that raised questions, but in the United States they did not go forward.
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