Russian diplomat: US seeking pretext for breakup of INF Treaty

 Russian diplomat: US seeking pretext for breakup of INF Treaty

The US is seeking a pretext for a breakup of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty but it will not succeed in its attempts to apportion all blame to Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said after the US had introduced sanctions against two Russian organizations.

"It looks like the U.S. has taken the course at breaking up the INF Treaty and it is seeking a pretext. But it will not succeed in apportioning blame for the situation to Russia," Ryabkov said.

"We’ve called attention to the obvious encroachments on the treaty by the US more than once. Their list includes ground-based deployment - on a base in Romania - of the units capable of launching Tomahawk cruise missiles, which is strictly forbidden," TASS cited him as saying.

"Liability for destruction of one of the pillars of the system of arms control as a result of such voluntarist actions will fall on Washington," the senior diplomat stressed.

"Washington continues pinning the blame on Russia, accusing us baselessly of violations of the INF Treaty. We have asked the Americans many a time to provide whatever data they had to prove their groundless claims but did not happen even at last week’s meeting of the Special Monitoring Commission for the INF Treaty," he added.

"Instead, Washington announced on December 19 it was introducing sanctions against two Russian organizations," Rybkov said.