5 Aug 2019 12:26

Russia stayed committed to INF Treaty, never tested 9M729 on forbidden range - Ryabkov

MOSCOW. Aug 5 (Interfax) - The 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile was never designed for and tested on the range forbidden by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said at a press briefing in Moscow on Monday.

"Allow me to reaffirm that the 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile, whose existence we never denied, was not designed for or tested on the forbidden range," Ryabkov said.

"Russia was fully committed to the INF Treaty since the day it took effect," he said.

Russia strongly denies the U.S.' allegations of Russian violations of the INF Treaty, Ryabkov said, adding that violations were actually committed by the United States.

"In fact, it was the United States that failed to take necessary measures for eliminating its violations of the treaty," Ryabkov said.

First and foremost, the United States has been deploying MK41 launching systems, which can fire attack cruise missiles banned by the INF Treaty, on the ground, he said.

The day before the INF Treaty's termination, the United States "made another awkward excuse by publishing the so-called factual information with completely distorted facts on the U.S. Department of State's website on July 30," Ryabkov said.

This information "was another propagandist release of sheer lies, which had little to do with the reality," he said.

"In fact, the Americans have shown no proof of Russia's violation of the treaty over the years of discussions of INF Treaty issues," Ryabkov said.