Bill on suspension of INF Treaty will be reviewed in Russia on June 18

Thursday, 30 May, 2019 - 18:50
Russia's State Duma on June 18 to review President Vladimir Putin's bill on suspension of the INF Treaty. "On Thursday, May 30, President Vladimir Putin introduced into the State Duma a draft federal law on suspension by the Russian Federation of the 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," according to the State Duma's official website.
 
According to the document, the president is granted the right to decide on the renewal of the treaty. The law will enter into force from the date of its official publication.
 
Earlier on Thursday, the Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin said that the Council of the Duma within an hour will determine the timing of the consideration of this document. “Proceeding from the steps of the United States of America that violated this Treaty, we consider it right to decide on its suspension and do everything possible to ensure global security and, above all, the security of our citizens,” Volodin added.
 
Due to supposedly existing threat of Russian deployments of cruise missiles which U.S. officials regarded as “violating the treaty's range limits”, United States announced on Feb. 2 it would immediately suspend its adherence to the INF Treaty and withdraw from the pact in the nearest six months.
 
The Treaty was signed in 1987 by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. president Ronald Reagan. It banned the production, testing and deployment of land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 km to 5,500 km. As a result, a total of 2,692 short-, medium-, and intermediate-range missiles have been destroyed by the treaty's implementation deadline of June 1, 1991. Moscow's decision to pull out came after Washington's ultimatum that it would withdraw from the pact. 
 
Both countries repeatedly blamed each other for breach of treaty. In July 2014 the U.S. officials stated that Russia is in violation of its INF Treaty obligations “not to possess, produce, or flight-test” a ground-launched cruise missile having a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers or “to possess or produce launchers of such missiles.” These allegations were repeated in 2015, 2016 and 2018. In March 2017, a top U.S. official confirmed press reports that Russia had begun deploying the noncompliant missile. Russia denies that it is in violation of the agreement and has accused the United States of being in noncompliance.
 
Russia also has several claims to the United States in connection with deployment of Mk-41 ground-based launchers in Romania and Poland, which can be used for launching the intermediate-range missiles.