Russia is committed to its obligations under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.
His remarks came after the Vice Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Paul Selva told Congress Wednesday that Russia violated the “spirit and intent” of the INF pact by deploying a banned land-based cruise missile.
The treaty, signed by American and Soviet leaders in 1987, prohibits both countries from testing, producing and possessing land-based intermediate-range missiles. It was deemed as a corner stone of global arms control and helped end the Cold War.
“Russia fully complies with the INF treaty, although it does not totally meet our interests,” Peskov was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.
Also on Thursday, Viktor Ozerov, chairman of the defense committee of Russia’s upper house of parliament, said Russia strictly observes the arms control treaty and called the repeated U.S. accusations groundless.
“Let them present the facts of these violations. We have heard enough baseless conversations lately,” Ozerov said.
Worries about a new arms race between Russia and the United States have risen after U.S. President Donald Trump proposed last month to raise its 2018 military and security spending by 54 billion U.S. dollars.
In December last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his annual year-end press conference that Russia would continue to boost its nuclear triad, a set of advanced armaments consisting of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, strategic bombers and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
“There is concern over the possibility of a new arms race unfolding in Europe,” German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said at a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Thursday.(Xinhua)