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US exerts pressure on Russia accusing it of violation of INF Treaty -- lawmaker

The United States, accusing Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, is just seeking another pretext to exert pressure on it, a Russian lawmaker said on Wednesday.

The deputy head of the defense committee at the State Duma lower house of parliament, Frants Klintsevich, referred to a letter that US President Barack Obama had earlier sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which said that the United States accuses Russia of violating the treaty.

A spokesperson for the US government said that "the United States has come to the conclusion that the Russian Federation is violating its obligations with respect to the INF." Washington is concerned with a specific clause of the treaty, which lays out "the obligation to neither acquire, produce, nor test ground-based cruise missiles with a range of 500 kilometers to 5,500 km [310-3,420 miles], and neither to maintain nor build launchers for such missiles," he said.

"Science progresses, we are developing, new samples of armaments have appeared, the fuel, aerodynamics are being improved and so on. Russia makes headway and will continue to develop its military science, create new samples and improve our country's security in line with modern requirements," Klintsevich said. "These accusations are just publicity with the aim of blaming Russia and exerting pressure on it," he said. "Historically, our country has the habit of observing concluded agreements," the lawmaker added. "As for the Americans, they have long assumed the role of world gendarme, they rather freely interpret various things, including the adopted agreements most of which they failed to observe," the politician said. "As a result, they do only what they deem necessary and profitable for them to do," he said. "At the same time, it is clear that Russia is really threatened today, checked only because it expresses its opinion that this [armed conflict in Ukraine] contradicts our interests," the lawmaker added.

Klintsevich said, commenting on the statement by US Secretary of State John Kerry that a ceasefire in the east of Ukraine was needed, that the change in the US rhetoric regarding the standoff is linked with the tight situation in Ukraine. "It [the rhetoric] changed not because they [Americans] have become more humane or they feel sorry for Ukraine, it has changed because of the tight situation," he said. "They understand that all these things in autumn will cause collapse, cold, a humanitarian catastrophe. When people have no more food, as plants and factories are closing, wages are not paid, there will be a revolt," the lawmaker said.

He said the critical situation in the Ukrainian army also plays its role. He cited data, suggesting "the desertion rate has reached 48%, including due to the poor service conditions." "The military have no amenities, the payment of wages to them is delayed, they have no needed outfits and they are undernourished," Klintsevich said. "People in the east realize that they will be mopped up together with their families if only they relax efforts, so they are motivated, but those who assail them are not very well motivated, because they do not know for what they are fighting," he said. "And the Americans will have to bear responsibility for all this, so a bad peace is better than the best of wars for them," the lawmaker added.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 30Jul14]

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