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Moscow rules out destroying new missiles in response to 'groundless' US request

Moscow rules out destroying new missiles in response to 'groundless' US request
Russia will not destroy its 9M729 missile complexes, which the US claims to be violating the terms of the INF Treaty, the country’s Foreign Ministry has announced.

“We cannot go for destroying our 9M729 missile that Washington groundlessly believes to violate the treaty,” the ministry said in a statement. It added that the US side didn’t show “any readiness for dialogue,” but had become “fixated on the unacceptable ultimatum” for Russia.

In February, the US announced its unilateral withdrawal from the INF Treaty. It claimed that Russia’s testing of the 9M729 missile breached the terms of the landmark 1987 deal, which bans ground-based missiles with a range of between 500km and 5,500km. In response, Russia also suspended the country’s participation in the treaty.

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Russia’s Foreign Ministry reiterated that the US was actively developing medium-range missile systems. The US abandoning the treaty opens the possibility of deploying these missiles in Europe. “We have to prepare ourselves for Washington’s potential deployment of these systems,” the statement read.

The ministry said that it would not “knock on a closed door” after Moscow’s attempts to save the INF Treaty were brushed aside by Washington, adding that the settlement proposals remain on the table. The INF Treaty is set to expire on August 2. If it is not renewed, it will seize to exist.

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