"We are closely monitoring any U.S. steps to implement destabilizing plans," Russian diplomat Zakharova said.
On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that her country will closely monitor U.S. steps to deploy weapons systems previously banned by the arms-control Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in Europe.
"We are closely monitoring any U.S. steps to implement destabilizing plans that involve the deployment of these weapons," Zakharova said during her weekly press briefing.
She noted that this was particularly significant, considering Russia's moratorium on deploying intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles.
"I would like to remind you that the viability of the Russian moratorium is directly linked to the emergence of these U.S. missiles... in the relevant regions," Zakharova said.
The US is accustomed to violating international treaties, so if NATO ratifies the INF, then the missiles are no more than 5 to 10 minutes away from Russia's main population centers, Richard Becker, anti-war activist, ANSWER Coalition, says.#RussiaUkraineConflict pic.twitter.com/tSVMRz5Mlk— Press TV (@PressTV) February 28, 2022
She clarified that the weapon system under discussion was the containerized MK-70 launcher. The system, not only used for SM-6 missiles, has been adapted and can be used to fire long-range Tomahawk cruise missiles.
She said that Washington has begun preparing to transfer these missile systems, previously prohibited under the INF treaty, to Europe.
In 2019, Washington officially announced its withdrawal from the INF Treaty. The U.S. and the former Soviet Union signed the INF Treaty in 1987, which prohibited possessing, developing and testing ground-launched missiles with a range of 500-5,500 km.