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Russian MPs vote in favor of bill to suspend participation in INF Treaty

Testing of Russia's Burevestnik nuclear-powered missile. (Russian Ministry of Defense/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Russian lawmakers have voted to support a decree by President Vladimir Putin to suspend the country’s participation in the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which eliminated an entire class of missiles.

The State Duma in Moscow overwhelmingly supported Putin’s move in a vote on June 19, with 417 deputies in favor and one abstaining.

The upper house of parliament is expected to consider the bill, which allows the president to resume the treaty’s implementation at his discretion, on June 26.

“Missiles Banned by the INF Treaty” graphic. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)

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In February, the United States suspended its participation in the agreement, with Washington and its allies accusing Russia of deploying a missile system that violates the pact.

Russia, which denies the accusation, later followed suit. Moscow accuses the United States of breaking the accord itself, an allegation rejected by Washington.

The INF Treaty banned the United States and Russia from developing, producing, and deploying ground-launched cruise or ballistic missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.