Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs:
“The presidential decree on suspending the INF Treaty is a forced and symmetrical measure. This is not about withdrawing from the treaty, Russia is freezing its obligations to comply with the INF Treaty in the context of its violation by its American partners. These steps are purely defensive in nature. We are not interested in creating tension or new missile crises on the European continent.
We have made all permissible efforts from a politico-military point of view to save the treaty. We offered Washington a set of concrete measures for settlement, we even took unprecedentedly transparent steps to prove the absence of violations of the INF Treaty from the Russian side. However, all our initiatives were rejected. The United States consistently and systematically implemented the line to break.
Russia is open to discussing the future fate of the INF Treaty, but the ball is now on the side of the United States. We will not put forward our initiatives until the American partners are ready for an equal and sound dialogue. “