Konstantin Kosachev, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, has called the sanctions announced by US President Donald Trump against Russia for allegedly violating the treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles (INF Treaty) "the most cynical of all" US sanctions, RIA Novosti reports.
"Trump's new sanctions against Russia for the alleged violation of the treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles (INF) are perhaps the most cynical of all that have been introduced by the United States. For here the chief violator is attacking the one who caught him in the violation," he said.
Kosachev stressed that Russia is interested in ensuring the treaty remains in force.
"And that's why Washington's cynical game, that ‘someone else is guilty’, [is] with the clear goal of finishing this very important treaty in the field of arms control (as they have already done with the ABM Treaty and on Conventional Arms [CFE Treaty]); of course, we are monitoring and will not remain without a response,” he noted.
According to Kosachev, this treaty is of strategic importance for Russia and all European countries, unlike for the United States.
The American edition of Politico reported today, citing sources in the White House, that President Donald Trump has approved the imposition of new sanctions against Russia over violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which entered into force 30 years ago.
The US Department of Commerce has been tasked with developing a new package of sanctions against Russian enterprises and companies involved in the development of new missile technologies. In addition, the Pentagon has instructed to begin work on the creation of new type of cruise missile.
The United States and Russia are planning to hold a Special Monitoring Commission meeting in the near future regarding the implementation of the INF Treaty.
Last Friday, the US State Department issued a detailed statement refuting Moscow's accusations that Washington has violated the terms of the agreement. As emphasized by the diplomatic authority, the Aegis Ashore missile defense systems, a type ballistic missile used as targets during testing and for armed drones in service with the US Armed Forces, do not violate "not a single one of the points" of the agreement.
Washington came forward with accusations against the Russians in 2014. The INF Treaty, which entered into force on June 1, 1988, obliged the countries to eliminate all medium-range and shorter-range missile systems (from 500 to 5,500 km) within three years, as well as to abandon the development of such missiles.
According to the US, Moscow conducted tests of a new cruise missile 9M729 with a range of more than 500 km in 2008-2011, in violation of the terms of the agreement.