MOSCOW: Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Russia's possible response, to retaliate US's withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, will be to restore military balance.
"The breaking of the INF Treaty's provisions forces Russia to take measures on ensuring its own security," Peskov said, noting that in the future Washington would start directly developing the systems banned under the treaty, reported Russian News Agency TASS.
"If this system is developed, steps from other countries, and in this case of Russia, on restoring balance in this sphere are needed," he said adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated this many times.
US President Donald Trump on Saturday said that Washington would withdraw from the INF Treaty as Russia was allegedly violating the terms of the agreement.
Many including Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, Berlin and Beijing raised concern over the decision, citing it as 'a dangerous move'.
The Kremlin spokesman stressed that the US is in violation of the treaty, while Russia remains committed to the document.
"President Putin on various occasions has rejected all accusations against Russia pertaining to violations of the INF Treaty," he added.
Russia has provided evidence at various levels that Washington eroded the basis and key provisions of the treaty by "installing anti-missiles, which can be both interceptors and also short and medium-range missiles, using combat drones, which are de facto nothing else than short and medium-range missiles."
"We absolutely disagree that Russia violates the INF Treaty."
"Russia was and remains committed to this treaty's provisions."
The procedure for withdrawing from the INF Treaty takes nearly half a year, and so this is an issue of "the day after tomorrow," the spokesman said, noting that the US plans to leave the treaty arouses serious concerns.
Meanwhile, London voiced support for the US, while NATO held Russia responsible for Trump's decision saying that "allies believe that the most plausible assessment would be that Russia is in violation of the INF Treaty."
The INF Treaty was signed between the Soviet Union and the United States on Dec 8, 1987 in Washington, DC and took effect on Jun 1, 1988.
The INF Treaty eliminated operational and non-operational medium range (1,000-5,500 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers) ground-launched missiles.
In 2014, the United States accused Russia of developing a missile with an operational range of 500 to 5,500 km.
US media outlets reported that the missile was codenamed 9M729 (NATO reporting name: SSC-8).
Since then, the US has repeated this claim more than once.
Russia strongly dismissed it and struck back at the US with counterclaims that America had violated the deal.
Moscow accused Washington of developing missiles, which are tested at a range prohibited by the treaty and deploying missile defense elements, which may be used for launching short- and intermediate-range missiles.