Russian Federation to respond adequately to US INF withdrawal: FM

Russian Federation to respond adequately to US INF withdrawal: FM

Russian Federation to respond adequately to US INF withdrawal: FM

The United States' full withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty would not herald the start of a new Cold War, the RIA news agency quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Monday.

Effective Saturday, "the United States will suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty and begin the process of withdrawing from the INF Treaty, which will be completed in six months unless Russian Federation comes back into compliance by destroying all of its violating missiles, launchers and associated equipment", President Donald Trump said in a statement.

Russian Federation developing additional missile systems is not helpful if Moscow wants to save the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, US Department of Defence spokesperson Johnny Michael told Sputnik on Tuesday.

Russian Federation says it is planning to develop new missile systems after both Russian Federation and the USA suspended their involvement in an arms control pact. He has ordered the development of new land-based intermediate-range weapons - but emphasised that Russian Federation won't deploy them in the European part of the country or elsewhere unless the U.S. does so first.

"We Europeans can not remain spectators of our own security", said French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly.

"At the same time, they [the United States] are actively working on creating ground-based missiles with the range capability of over [310 miles], which is outside the treaty-stipulated limitations".

Lavrov on Saturday repeated accusations that Washington itself has been in violation of the deal for many years, while Russian Federation "tried everything to save the treaty" in several rounds of diplomatic talks.

The campaigners' opposition to the INF withdrawal is shared by two-thirds of Americans surveyed by the University of Maryland in the last month, including 55 percent of Republican respondents and 51 percent of those who voted for Trump in 2016.

"Today, more than ever, it is important to make every effort on both sides of the Atlantic to restore and strengthen confidence-building measures in order to prevent the deployment of medium and shorter-range missiles in Europe".

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Vice President Mike Pence told a Florida rally on Friday that the time for dialogue had ended and all options were on the table. The self-declared president has no control over state institutions or any functions of day-to-day governance.

"Unfortunately, the countries of the alliance were not ready for meaningful dialogue on the Mk-41 launchers, which are located in Romania, and will appear in Poland next year, in violation of the INF Treaty".

The moves have raised concerns about a new arms race.

"Pulling out of the INF Treaty was an unconscionable and reckless act on the part of the Trump administration", said Patrick O'Neill, one of the Kings Bay Plowshares Seven.

The Pentagon's new strategy unveiled last month calls for a new array of space-based sensors and other high-tech systems to more quickly detect and shoot down incoming missiles. He said the military must reconfigure the existing defense budget to find money for the new weapons.

"Crossroads is a good word to describe where this decision puts us", says Thomas Countryman, a former acting undersecretary of state for arms control and global security. And China has missiles - from short-range area denial missiles to ICBMS.

He said: "We see the basic concepts of the security architecture that was shaped after World War II being undermined, key strategic stability agreements being dismantled".

This is a developing story, more to follow.

But Moscow insists the disputed 9M729 missile is allowed under the treaty. In any case, it seems unlikely Beijing would agree to any negotiated limits on its weaponry.

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