The Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday denied U.S. allegations that Washington was abandoning the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty due to violations by Moscow.
"We reiterate that Russia is strictly observing the clauses of the treaty," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing.
She said that the United States is trying to make it look like its recent statement about a withdrawal from the treaty was provoked by Russia's violations, which is "absolutely unacceptable" as Washington did not produce any evidence to substantiate their claims.
On Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump said that Washington would pull out of the INF treaty on account of Russia's alleged breach of the agreement.
Zakharova said that Russia had been seeing in the last few years violations of the treaty by the United States itself and has been warning Washington about it.
Long before announcing its intention to withdraw from the treaty, Washington launched concrete military programs under an absolutely false pretext, which if continued, would contradict not only the INF treaty, Zakharova said.
And the number of Washington's such projects keeps growing, she added.
"An impression is being formed that the United States desperately attempts to restrain historical processes which are not under its control and tries to secure dominant positions for itself in various spheres including military," she said.
The destruction of the INF treaty would be a very dangerous step that would most negatively affect the situation in the field of international security and strategic stability and is fraught with the risk of drawing entire regions into a new arms race, Zakharova said.
Russia is ready to work together with the United States to maintain the viability of the treaty, but so far it seems Washington's move to pull out from the INF treaty is largely determined by the reluctance of certain U.S. forces to work with Russia on an equal basis and their desire to secure a military advantage, Zakharova said.
"Now we have to warn Washington in a most serious manner: if the U.S. side destroys the treaty, Russia will have to react," she said.
On Tuesday, U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said in Moscow that the United States would file a formal notice of its withdrawal from the INF treaty "in due course."