Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 1
Moscow is interested in keeping the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and regrets Washington’s decision to withdraw from it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
"We are interested in saving [the INF Treaty] and we regret the US announced intention to withdraw from the treaty; we have expressed our readiness to discuss the present situation, but as we understand it, the US decision is final. It will be announced officially soon, and a six-month countdown will begin, after which the decision to terminate the contract will become a reality," Lavrov said speaking at a press conference after talks with OSCE Secretary General, RIA Novosti reported.
He recalled that the Russian president had repeatedly spoken about Russia's interest in keeping the INF Treaty.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump said that Washington would withdraw from the INF Treaty. He noted that America will increase its nuclear potential until the rest "come to their senses," then Washington will be ready to stop this process and begin to reduce armaments. He explained that this message is addressed primarily to China and Russia.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty, formally Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles) is a 1987 arms control agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union (and later its successor state the Russian Federation).
The INF Treaty eliminated all nuclear and conventional missiles, as well as their launchers, with ranges of 500-1,000 kilometers (short-range) and 1,000-5,500 km (intermediate-range). The treaty did not cover sea-launched missiles. By May 1991, 2,692 missiles were eliminated, followed by 10 years of on-site verification inspections.