Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question on INF Treaty
Question: How would you comment on the latest statements by US officials on Russia’s alleged non-compliance with INF Treaty?
Answer: Russia has repeatedly reaffirmed its commitment to the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty). The US allegations of Russian non-compliance relate to one particular missile type. While we have assured Washington on multiple occasions that the mentioned missile does not violate INF, the US has never explained the exact reasons of their preoccupation. These allegations divert attention from the American actions that are breaching a number of INF provisions, namely:
- contrary to INF Treaty requirements, the US is implementing a wide-ranging programme to produce and test “target missiles” (used in antimissile defence testing) with specifications similar to intermediate-range and shorter-range ground-launched missiles;
- the extensive use of US unmanned aerial attack vehicles that fall under the Treaty definition of medium-range ground-launched cruise missiles;
- the deployment at missile-defence sites in Europe of MK-41 ground-based interceptor missile launchers which can potentially be used for launching cruise missiles.
Unfortunately, the US has persistently avoided a substantive discussion on these issues. This raises serious doubts as to the sincerity of numerous US statements related to its commitment to the INF Treaty, as well as its willingness to work with Russia to ensure the effectiveness of that crucial instrument.