Comment by the Information and Press Department of the Russian MFA on the Declaration by EU Leaders regarding the INF Treaty

We have taken note of the Declaration on the INF Treaty made by High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini on behalf of all EU Member States.

We could have merely welcomed EU interest to preserve the INF Treaty and its opinion on the importance of the Treaty for international stability, entirely shared by Russia. However, as the EU deemed it necessary to make such a statement less than three weeks prior to the end date of the procedure of withdrawal from the INF Treaty initiated by the US, we are forced to doubt that Brussels realises all the gravity of the situation and negative impact of destructive steps taken by the US on the security of their European allies.

The bias of EU approach to the causes of the crisis around the INF Treaty is regretful. For instance, it does not even mention Russian years-long concerns with the way the Treaty was implemented by the US. It is the US that is destroying the INF Treaty, but calls to preserve it and demonstrate readiness to work constructively are, for some reason, addressed to Russia. It is equally surprising that European countries, whose security is being affected in the most direct way, are de facto expressing solidarity with Washington and not even trying to launch any substantial initiatives to settle the situation created by the Americans.

The declaration is clearly made “for the sake of appearances” and is driven by merely propaganda goals. In fact EU countries are compliantly implementing US guidelines rejecting realistic measures proposed by Russia in order to settle mutual grievances within the INF Treaty on the basis of mutual transparency.

In the light of the above, we would like to reiterate that our proposals remain on the table. It is up to the US to decide whether the INF Treaty is to be or not to be. So, EU calls to save it are made to a definitely wrong address.