While Russia continues to support diplomacy with the US on tying to
resolve the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty dispute, they will not be letting the United States directly inspect any Russian nuclear missiles, saying such a step wouldn’t be justifiable.
Russian Deputy FM Sergey Ryabkov says such inspections would be “extremely intrusive,” and that the US had previously refused Russian requests to inspect US submarines in relation to a different arms treaty.
The dispute is on the Russian 9m729 missiles, and their maximum range. The INF bans all nuclear missiles with ranges from 500 km to 5,500 km. Russia has only tested the missile to 400 km, and it is intended to replace an older design that also had a 400 km range.
The US, however, believes the missile has a much longer range, and is basing that on its similarity to a submarine-based missile with a longer range. Russia, however, has never tested that, meaning the US claim of a violation is based on a purely theoretical best-case scenario for the missile doing what Russia says it wasn’t intended to even attempt.
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