U.S. intention to impose additional sanctions on Moscow does not help resolve INF Treaty problems - Foreign Ministry
MOSCOW. Dec 19 (Interfax) - The United States' plans to impose additional sanctions on Russia for the alleged breach of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty are an attempt to conceal their own dishonesty, the Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department, Mikhail Ulyanov, told Interfax in an interview on Tuesday.
"The Americans have been saying lately that they want to impose additional sanctions on Russia under the pretext of the alleged violation. This kind of attitude does not help resolve the problems surrounding this treaty. We suspect that the true objective of those 'leaks' is to present Russia as a habitual violator of international obligations while keeping silent about their own dishonesty," Ulyanov said.
Russia is seriously concerned about the fact that the Pentagon is using targets similar to intermediate-range missiles in its missile defense tests, as well as using drones, which fall under the INF Treaty's description of ground-based cruise missiles, he said.
"The deployment of universal systems capable of launching interceptor and attack missiles within the Aegis Ashore missile defense complexes deployed in Eastern Europe is an obvious breach of the INF Treaty's obligations," Ulyanov said.
U.S. allegations that Moscow has been breaching the INF Treaty are unsubstantiated, Ulyanov said. "The Americans have recently disclosed the index of one of our missiles (9M729), which, in their opinion, violates the INF Treaty, but they never said why the United States believes that the range of this missile exceeds the permitted 500 kilometers. In fact, it is clear why they have not done so: there is simply no such information because the 9M729's parameters are fully consistent with this treaty," he said.
Russia is committed to this treaty and "is ready for a constructive discussion of every issue, which should be addressed in the bilateral format without excessive politicization," Ulyanov said.