INF: Moscow in reciprocity mode
Russia will not deploy new missiles as long as the United States shows similar restraint in Europe and Asia, Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu said on August 18, reacting upon Washington’s withdrawal from the pact.
Washington announced the decision to formally leave the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia earlier this month after accusing Moscow of violating the Soviet-era treaty and deploying one banned type of missile, allegations the Kremlin has firmly denied.
Subsequently Russia has also left the INF, but Shoigu explained it had no plans to deploy new missiles.
“We still stick to that. Unless there are such systems in Europe (deployed by Washington), we won’t do anything there,” he told the Rossiya-24 TV channel, according to Interfax news agency.
The pact banned land-based missiles with a range of between 310 and 3,400 miles (500-5,500 km), reducing the ability of both countries to launch a nuclear strike at short notice.