Russia warns US against deploying missiles in Europe
MOSCOW: Russia today warned the United States of consequences if it moves to deploy land-based missiles in Europe in contravention of a key Cold-War era arms control treaty.
“It is clear that such actions would mean complete destruction by the American side of the regime of the treaty with all its attendant consequences,” the Russian foreign ministry said, referring to the 1987 INF treaty on intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles.
“We urge the United States to ensure the full implementation of the INF, (and) not to threaten the feasibility of this document,” the ministry said in a statement.
US defence officials said last week Washington was considering a range of moves to counter Russia’s alleged violation of the treaty, including bolstering missile defences or deploying land-based missiles in Europe.
The INF agreement eliminated nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate range of 500-5,500 kilometres.
A US State Department report last week said Russia in 2014 “continued to be in violation of its obligations under the INF Treaty not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile with a range capability of 500 kilometres to 5,500 kilometres, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles.”
The Russian foreign ministry said statement was not “consistent with reality”, challenging the United States to provide firm evidence.