President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev shake hands after signing the INF Treaty
The Kremlin reacted incredulously to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 1987 treaty on intermediate range nuclear weapons. The hyperbolic rhetoric was flowing today over the state-run news media, declaring “humanity is threatened with complete chaos in the field of nuclear weapons”.
“Russia has not, unfortunately, honored the agreement so we’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out,” Trump told reporters on Saturday after a rally in Nevada.
“The US withdrawal from the Treaty on Medium and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF) can lead to “complete chaos in the field of nuclear weapons,” said Russian Senator Konstantin Kosachev. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov suggested waiting for US national security adviser John Bolton to arrive today in Moscow, but noted that the treaty apparently “creates problems for the approval of the line on total US domination and military dominance.” Moscow insists it did not break the treaty. He called the statements among the representatives of the White House about the inevitability of withdrawing from the agreement “blackmail”,” reported Russian news outlet Kommersant.
“Sergey Ryabkov denied these accusations. According to him, Russia “most strictly fulfills the INF Treaty.” Recall, the United States and NATO accuse Russia of developing and deploying the 9M729 missile, which, according to their data, has a range of over 500 km. The INF Treaty prohibits the parties to develop, produce and deploy missiles with a range from 500 to 5,500 km. Moscow does not deny the existence of a rocket, but claims that its range does not exceed 500 km. Washington has not yet presented evidence of the flight of the Russian rocket above the established limit.”
Ryabkov, in comments reported by the state-controlled RIA news agency, said if the United States withdrew, Russia would have no choice but to retaliate, including taking unspecified measures of a “military-technical nature.”
“But we would rather things did not get that far,” reported The Moscow Times.