US opted to ditch INF years ago, has been preparing to produce banned missiles – Russian MoD

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US opted to ditch INF years ago, has been preparing to produce banned missiles – Russian MoD

The US has been preparing to produce medium and short-range missiles, banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), for almost two years already, the Russian Defense Ministry has said.

The Russian military has accused the US of planning – and actively preparing – for the withdrawal from the landmark INF agreement long before the recent barrage of accusations against Moscow.

Washington has apparently been headed for production of the banned munitions since at least June 2017. Back then, the US began to actively expand and modernize a factory in Arizona, belonging to the defense corporation Raytheon. The plant is the largest US facility, producing the full spectrum of missile weaponry. Over this period of almost two years, the factory’s facilities were expanded by 44 percent, while its personnel was expected to grow by 2,000, the MoD added.

At the same time, in November 2017, the Congress allocated $58 million to the Pentagon explicitly for “research and development program on a ground-launched intermediate-range missile.” Notably, the said program was a stated goal in the US defense budget for 2018.




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