MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. The only guarantee that US intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles won’t be deployed to Europe was the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and the words of outgoing US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman can’t guarantee this, Russian senator Konstantin Kosachev told TASS.
“With all understanding that the words of the ambassador, who is representing the country’s official position, are important, I have no illusions regarding the US plans on intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles. The Americans did not withdraw from the [INF] treaty in order to honor it. The only guarantee of the non-deployment of US missiles in Europe was the INF Treaty,” said Kosachev, who chairs the Russian Federation Council’s (upper house) Foreign Affairs Committee.
According to the Russian senator, since this treaty is no longer in effect, “the situation is unpredictable and therefore is very alarming.”
Earlier in the day, Huntsman said in an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station that if the systems of this class were in demand, the US would more likely deploy them on the first island chain in the Asia-Pacific region rather than to Europe.
On August 2, the INF Treaty was suspended at Washington’s initiative. The US attributed the move to Russia’s refusal to meet its ultimatum on eliminating the new 9M729 cruise missiles, which according to the US and its NATO allies’ claims, violate the agreement. Moscow rejected these accusations, insisting that this missile’s technical features were in compliance with the treaty and put forward its own counterclaims against Washington.
The INF Treaty, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987, took effect on June 1, 1988. It applies to deployed and non-deployed ground-based missiles of intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers).