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Russian parliament’s upper chamber approves 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.

The Russian parliament’s upper chamber, the Federation Council, has 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 decree was accepted on June 26, eight days after the lower chamber, the State Duma, gave its approval.

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 allegation, later followed suit.

Moscow accuses the United States of breaking the accord itself, a claim rejected by Washington.

The INF Treaty was signed on December 8, 1987, and took effect on June 1, 1988.

It 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.