President Vladimir Putin has submitted to Russia’s parliament a draft resolution on Moscow’s suspension of the INF Treaty with the United States. If the Duma approves the bill, the suspension will become law.
The State Duma will consider the draft later on Thursday. Russian president will be able to renew the suspension at his discretion.
In February, the US announced its unilateral withdrawal from the INF Treaty. It claimed that Russia’s testing of the 9M729 missile breached the terms of the deal.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty came into force in 1987 and banned both the Soviet Union and the US from developing and deploying land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 km. The agreement was signed to de-escalate tensions in Europe, where both countries had dozens of such missiles deployed, posing a risk of an accidental nuclear exchange.
The missiles only needed minutes to reach their targets, leaving a very small window for the other side to decide whether a detected attack was a real one, requiring immediate retaliation, or a false positive.
The United States is set to formally leave the treaty in August.
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