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Russian politician says Trump’s remark about military response indicates collapse of INF

 US President Donald Trump’s statement the United States intends to devise options of military response to Russia’s alleged violations of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty explains Washington’s wish to withdraw from that agreement, the chairman of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee, Konstantin Kosachyov, said on Friday.

"Trump’s statement the United States intends to ‘move forward with developing our own military response options’ in retaliation for Russia’s alleged violations of the INF Treaty is in fact the most simple explanation of the whole affair and why the emphasis was put on ruining such an important treaty in the sphere of security. The United States wishes to work on its new weapon systems violating that treaty, but it needs a situation in which it would present this decision as a retaliatory move," Kosachyov said on his Facebook page.

He described as classical the scenario that begins with accusations followed by refusal to discuss anything, an ultimatum, and then a response that had been planned in advance.

"The INF Treaty was an obstruction to Washington, just as any other document that limits its actions and ambitious plans for attaining absolute military supremacy over any adversaries," Kosachyov said.

He pointed out that to the accompaniment of rhetoric about a "Russian threat" and accusations against Russia "the United States has turned into the most serious challenge to global security since World War II."

"NATO’s statement that followed instantly in support of dangerous US actions taken over Russia’s alleged non-compliance with the INF Treaty should demonstrate to each European at last that the alliance no longer maintains Europe’s security, but serves exclusively the interests of the United States. For Russia the conclusion is not very consoling, either. Apparently Brussels no longer has a worthy and equitable partner for talks on security issues," Kosachyov believes.

Starting from February 2 the United States suspends compliance with its liabilities under the INF Treaty, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo told a news briefing. He said that if Russia failed to eliminate the missiles, launchers and associated equipment that allegedly violate the INF Treaty, the United States will terminate the treaty’s operation.

INF Treaty controversy

In October last year President Donald Trump said the United States would pull out of the INF Treaty, because Russia, in Washington’s opinion, was in breach of that agreement. At the beginning of December the US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo warned that Washington would terminate its obligations under the treaty, if Russia failed to come back into compliance within 60 days (by February 2). Russian President Vladimir Putin the next day warned that Russia was against ruining the INF Treaty, but would have to react, if the United States decided to quit.

On January 15, 2019 Russia and the United States held inter-departmental consultations over the INF Treaty in Geneva. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said afterwards that the American side had done nothing to try to narrow disagreements. US Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson once again accused Moscow of violating the treaty and confirmed that Washington would start the pullout process on February 2, if Russia refused to eliminate its 9M729 missile.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 01Feb19]

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