Possible US Withdrawal From INF Treaty 'Would Unleash a New Arms Race'

© Sputnik / Vladimir RodionovA bundle of three Soviet RSD-10 missiles prepared for demolition at the Kapustin Yar launch site. The missiles were destroyed in accordance with the INF Treaty.
A bundle of three Soviet RSD-10 missiles prepared for demolition at the Kapustin Yar launch site. The missiles were destroyed in accordance with the INF Treaty. - Sputnik International
The possible withdrawal of the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) between Washington and Moscow would result in global military and political destabilization, according to Russian military expert Igor Korotchenko.

Earlier, Politico reported that leading Republican congressmen have urged the White House to pull out from the treaty. Currently, the White House is engaged in fierce debate over the matter.

"These are provocative calls, taking into account the fact that the treaty is very important for both the US and Russia. Washington’s withdrawal would unleash a new arms race and result in global military and political destabilization. This is why Russia hopes that those calls are not reflective of the policy of the Trump administration," Russian military expert and journalist Igor Korotchenko told Sputnik.

The Moscow Kremlin towers as seen from Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge - Sputnik International
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The treaty was signed in 1987, with the aim to limit the missile arsenals of the US and the Soviet Union. Since then, both Moscow and Washington have repeatedly accused each other of violating the bilateral agreement.

According to Korotchenko, the allegations of Russia violating the treaty are groundless and artificial. 

The expert underscored that Russia’s missile systems currently in service do not contradict the treaty and Moscow strictly complies with its provisions. 

"Russia is not interested in pulling out from the INF Treaty. Moscow hopes that the Donald Trump administration will also take a balanced approach to observing the deal," Korotchenko said. 

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Smolenskaya-Sennaya Square in Moscow. - Sputnik International
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Within the framework of the deal, the two sides agreed to destroy and not to further develop ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles that have a range of 500-5,500 kilometers.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has repeatedly said that Moscow was in full compliance with the INF treaty. According to Lavrov, Moscow had its own concerns over Washington's compliance with the INF Treaty and that the Russian side had repeatedly called on US partners to substantially discuss the most controversial points related to the agreement's implementation.

In February, US media reported that Russia had deployed nuclear cruise missiles in violation of the INF Treaty. In March, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman Gen. Paul Selva said in a congressional testimony that the United States aims to "look for leverage points" seeking Russia's compliance with the treaty.

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