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2019.08.05 09:18

Russia fully responsible for INF Treaty collapse, Lithuanian foreign minister claims

Russia bears full responsibility for the United States' decision to withdraw from the bilateral Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius says.

“Together with @NATO Allies we regret that #Russia didn't use given term to return to full & verifiable compliance with #INFTreaty. Russia bears full responsibility for demise of the Treaty. NATO will continue strengthening its deterrence & defence ensuring security of all Allies,” the minister tweeted on Friday.

The US has been complaining for many years over Russia's 9M729 systems and said in February it would withdraw from the INF Treaty, if those systems were not destroyed.

Washington confirmed its formal withdrawal on Friday, with Russia accusing the United States of the treaty's collapse.

Experts say Russia-produced intermediate-range weapons pose no new direct threat to Lithuania as Russia is capable of reaching the country with short-range missiles.