Only Russia’s destruction of a 9M729 ground-based cruise missile can preserve the treaty on the elimination of medium and shorter-range missiles (INF), said Andrea Thompson, Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.
Thompson: Russia must destroy the 9M729 missile and its launchers
According to Thompson, the United States has compiled a list of conditions for Russia that Russia must fulfill in order to maintain the INF. Moscow knows that the main condition for the elimination of violations committed by Russia is the destruction of the 9M729 missile. At the same time, she stressed that Washington doesn’t like the option of modifying the missile, because it’s “unverifiable”, so only the United States can destroy the missile, as well as all the launchers for it.
Thompson denied claims that Washington had already decided to withdraw from the treaty, according to her, ‘Russia still has time until February 2, when the 60-day period that we gave Moscow to correct violations” expires. Moscow can still return to the execution of the contract, she added.
A State Department spokeswoman reported that the United States allegedly has intelligence information indicating that Russia was testing a missile at a distance prohibited by the treaty, and they showed this information to the Russian side. Thompson stressed that the Russians continue to deny everything, but the NATO allies immediately believed US intelligence. However, she was unable to answer the way in which information was received about alleged violations during the testing of a Russian rocket, saying that ‘this is classified information.’
US Deputy Secretary of State added that Washington, unlike Moscow, does not violate the provisions of the treaty, does not have prohibited systems, and this is confirmed by the US partners in NATO.
If Russia wants to save the INF Treaty, then it must destroy the prohibited weapons systems. Then he will remain in force
– Thompson concluded.
Meanwhile, Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, said that the United States had already decided to withdraw from the treaty, and the prepared ultimatum demanding ‘under American supervision destroy the 9M729 missile and its launchers and all associated equipment’ is only an attempt The United States is to blame Russia for its withdrawal from the treaty, which allegedly violated its provisions.