Russia Considers Lifting Moratorium on Intermediate-Range Missiles Amid Tensions

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In a significant development, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has indicated that Russia may reconsider its self-imposed moratorium on deploying intermediate-range missiles. This statement comes amid growing concerns over the potential deployment of American ground-based nuclear-capable weapons in the Asia-Pacific region.

The original moratorium was a unilateral decision by Russia following the United States’ withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty in 2019. The INF treaty, signed in 1987, had limited both nations from fielding land-based ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and missile launchers with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.

The Deputy Foreign Minister’s remarks suggest that the moratorium’s continuity could fundamentally depend on the specific parameters of US missiles’ range, their characteristics, and their ability to reach the Asia-Pacific region. Ermakov, the Russian foreign ministry’s head of nuclear nonproliferation, stated that the destabilizing military programs of the United States and its allies are making Russia’s moratorium increasingly fragile.

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