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Russian Foreign Minister Warns, U.S. Is Degrading the Missile Stability That Existed under INF Treaty

Yesterday, the Russian Foreign Ministry published the transcript of an interview Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov granted to Rossiya Segodnya, the owners of Sputnik and RIA Novosti. There he said that Russia’s commitment to its moratorium on the deployment of intermediate range surface-to-surface missiles, previously prohibited by the INF Treaty, depends on what the U.S. does. “If Washington creates additional missile risks, it will undoubtedly require a serious response from our side,” he said. “If the United States does not take any extraordinary steps to exert pressure through other means, Russia will not be the first to deploy missiles that were previously prohibited under the INF Treaty. However, judging by the preparations made by the Pentagon, practical actions by the Americans to deploy ground-launched intermediate and short-range missiles in different regions of the world should not take long. Therefore, the time when we will have to make necessary political decisions is fast approaching.”

Lavrov also indicated that there’s little prospect for the restoration of good U.S.-Russian relations. “Our readiness to restore a full-fledged dialogue with the United States should not be taken for granted,” he said. “Russia-U.S. relations have become strained to the maximum due to Washington’s strategic objective of inflicting a decisive blow on Russia. Although the White House is still cautious about completely ruining what remains of the relationship, the Americans are clearly not ready to engage in an honest dialogue based on mutual respect and consideration of each other’s interests.

“We will only be able to develop a formula for peaceful coexistence and cooperation in certain areas when Washington acknowledges our core national interests and engages in sincere negotiations,” the diplomat said.

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