0603 GMT August 20, 2019
US President Donald Trump said on October 20 that Washington would quit the INF treaty, which was signed towards the end of the Cold War in 1987 by then President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The treaty, seen as a milestone in ending the Cold War arms race between the two superpowers, banned ground-launch nuclear missiles with ranges from 500 kilometers to 5,500 kilometers and led to the elimination of nearly 2,700 short- and medium-range missiles.
The US said it is withdrawing from the pact because of Russia's alleged violation, an accusation Moscow denies. Russia said it was Washington that violated the agreement.
On Thursday, a top US official called on Moscow to dismantle its 9M729 nuclear-capable cruise missiles and launchers or alter the weapons' range to return to compliance with the INF treaty and avert a US withdrawal from the deal, Presstv reported.
"The impression is given that the ground is simply being prepared for this document (New START) also to be ruined as a result," Lavrov said at a press conference in Milan, Italy, on Friday.
Earlier on Friday, the Kremlin stressed that the missiles were in compliance with the INF arms control treaty.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated that "Russia has not violated, is not violating and remains committed to its obligations under the INF treaty."
Lavrov slams ‘arrogant’ US after arrest of China's Huawei CFO
Elsewhere in his remarks, Lavrov also said that the detention of a top executive of Chinese telecom giant Huawei in Canada on a US extradition request was an example of "arrogant" US policy abroad and shows how Washington imposes its laws beyond its jurisdiction.
On December 1, Huawei's chief financial officer and the daughter of its founder, Meng Wanzhou, 46, was nabbed during a stopover at Vancouver airport on a US extradition request on suspicion she violated the US sanctions against Iran. The arrest was announced by Canadian authorities on Wednesday.
The arrest prompted the Chinese government's protest urging her immediate release. The detention is also said to be threatening the Sino-American relations.