Russia’s Ministry of Defense, a day after United States President Donald Trump announced withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, said that US already prepared to produce intermediate-range missiles banned by the treaty.
The Russian ministry “since June 2017 the enterprise of the Raytheon military-industrial corporation in the city of Tucson, Arizona, has launched a program of expansion and upgrade of production facilities in order to create medium and shorter-range missiles banned by the INF Treaty.”
“This plant is the largest diversified enterprise of the US space industry, producing almost all types of rocket weapons, including medium-range and short-range cruise missiles,” it added.
Russian Defense Ministry also noted that over the past two years the space of the plant has increased by 44% – from 55,000 to 79,000 sq m, while the number of employees is about to rise by almost 2,000 people, according to official statements.
It further said that in November 2017, the US Congress allocated to the Pentagon the first tranche amounting to $ 58 million, directly pointing at the development of a land-based missile of intermediate range.
The US decided to withdraw from INF Treaty after NATO declared that Russia has developed and fielded a missile system, on December 4, 2018, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty, and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security.
“Since that announcement, the United States and other Allies have remained open to dialogue, and have engaged Russia on its violation, including at a NATO-Russia Council meeting on 25 January 2019. Allies regret that Russia, as part of its broader pattern of behaviour, continues to deny its INF Treaty violation, refuses to provide any credible response, and has taken no demonstrable steps toward returning to full and verifiable compliance,” NATO said.