Russia nears end of INF

Russia's State Duma (lower house) on June 18 passed a bill suspending the country's participation in the treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missile (INF).

A total of 417 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill, while one abstained from voting.

Tass reported and continued:

According to the document, Russia is suspending its compliance with the Treaty, but may resume it in accordance with the president's decision. The document will enter into force on the day of its publication.

The Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) may consider the bill on June 26.

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). Washington on many occasions had accused Russia of violating the accord, but Moscow vehemently dismissed all accusations and, in its turn, expressed grievances over Washington’s non-compliance.

On February 1, US President Donald Trump and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced the suspension of Washington’s obligations under the INF starting February 2. Washington is determined to withdraw from the treaty in six months unless Russia returns to "real and verifiable" compliance.

On February 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow was also suspending the agreement. He handed down instructions to refrain from initiating talks with Washington on the issue and stressed that the US needed to show willingness for an equal and substantive dialogue.

Putin signed a decree suspending Moscow's compliance with the Treaty on March 4.

(Full translation from Korean Edition of KCNA - June 21, 2019)
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