Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov’s comment on US sanctions against Russian organisations in the context of the INF Treaty
Washington continues laying its own fault at Russia’s door by pointlessly accusing us of having violated the Treaty between the USA and the USSR on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty). We have repeatedly suggested that the Americans present at least some data in support of their groundless claims, but this did not happen even at last week’s meeting of the Special Verification Commission under the INF Treaty. Instead, Washington announced on December 19 that it was introducing sanctions against two Russian organisations.
As we have noted before, we are used to sanctions. The US has been enthusiastically imposing restrictions against us for almost four years now, but the Russian economy and military might have become only stronger due to this. The illusion that we can be intimidated, one harboured by certain US politicians, can only reveal their full ignorance of Russia and their dangerous lack of foresight.
However, we are concerned over other things. The United States seems to be setting a course for dismantling the INF Treaty and looking for a pretext. But it will not have its way putting the blame on Russia. We have repeatedly noted clear violations of the INF Treaty committed by the United States, including ground deployment – at a military base in Romania – of installations capable of launching Tomahawk-type strike cruise missiles, which is prohibited. Washington will bear full responsibility for a possible destruction, as a result of these irresponsible actions, of one of the pillars of the arms control system.