Russia: US warning against nuclear treaty violations ‘absolutely unfounded’

Russia: US warning against nuclear treaty violations ‘absolutely unfounded’
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Russia on Saturday denied accusations from the Trump administration that the country is violating a decades-old treaty against intermediate range ballistic missiles.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called accusations from the White House that it violated the the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty "completely unfounded."

“They are not supported by the technical characteristics of the launch installation which allegedly does not comply with the treaty, or by flight telemetry data. Nothing. And it is understandable why - because it simply does not exist,” Ryabkov said in a statement reported by Reuters.


The Russian official added that Moscow remains committed to the treaty, but will issue a response if the U.S. announces that the treaty is broken.

“However, if the other side stops following it, we will be forced, as President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has already said, to respond in kind,” he added.

The State Department said Friday that the Trump administration is pursuing both economic and military means to ensure Russia "returns to compliance" with the 1987 agreement.

“While the United States will continue to pursue a diplomatic solution, we are now pursuing economic and military measures intended to induce the Russian Federation to return to compliance,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Ryabkov also targeted the Trump administration Saturday for sanctions put in place by the Treasury Department, warning the U.S. that economic pressure will not force Russia to change its policies.

“It’s time for American politicians and diplomats to understand that economic and military pressure on Russia will not work,” he said.