Senior lawmaker: Russia did not test Iskander-M missiles with range violating INF Treaty

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© Yuri Smityuk/TASS

MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. Russia did not test missiles for the Iskander-M tactical missile systems with a range that would violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), Chairman of Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) Defense Committee and former Commander of the Russian Airborne Troops, Vladimir Shamanov, said at a State Duma plenary meeting on Thursday.

“They have one claim against us, about the Iskander-M missile. They allege that, according to their classified data, there is evidence that we tested it,” the lawmaker said. “I declare with full responsibility that we did not test any missiles of such a range (more than 500 km – TASS),… and Mr. [US Secretary of State Michael] Pompeo is aware of that,” he stressed.

On Tuesday, Pompeo said after the meeting of NATO defense ministers that the US would stop honoring its commitments under the treaty, if Russia did not return to compliance with that accord within 60 days.

On October 20, US President Donald Trump said that his country would withdraw from the INF Treaty, because Washington believes Russia violates it. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov described this decision as a dangerous step. Berlin and Beijing criticized Washington’s move. London expressed support for the US, while NATO blamed Russia for Trump’s decision.

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