Russia says US leaving missile treaty to ‘get out of its obligations’

Russia says US leaving missile treaty to get out of its obligationsMOSCOW: Moscow denounced Washington’s decision to leave a landmark Cold War nuclear missile treaty on Friday, saying it was part of a plan to “get out of its international legal obligations”.

The US exit was not a question of “Russia’s guilt” but is instead “the strategy of the United States to get out of its international legal obligations in different areas,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the television channel channel Rossiya 1.

US President Donald Trump had earlier said the United States was suspending its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) as of Saturday, and had started a process to withdraw in six months.

Washington says that a new Russian medium-range missile system breaches the 1987 treaty, a claim that Moscow has vigorously denied.

Zakharova said the US had provided “no evidence, no satellite photo… no evidence” to prove that Russia had violated the treaty.

She insisted Russia had “always agreed to hold talks on the INF Treaty”.

And she warned if the US “really leaves the INF Treaty, Moscow reserves the right to an appropriate response”. AFP

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