Russian 9M729 missile does not violate INF Treaty

Summary

The Russian 9M729 missile has a range of under 500km, and is therefore compliant with the INF Treaty.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narratives on the INF Treaty.

The US has gathered detailed information on Russia’s flight-testing of the 9M792 missile to distances well over 500 kilometres. The US has provided Moscow with substantial information about the 9M729’s violations, including geographic coordinates and dates for the tests, but Russia continues to deny any wrongdoing.

The INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty, signed in 1987, prohibits the US and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 km and 5500 km.

In January 2019, Sputnik Italia all but conceded that the 9M729's technical specifications violate the provisions of the Treaty, but argued that Russia had been "pushed" to develop the missile by Washington's deployment of the Aegis missile defence system in Eastern Europe. See our debunk of this claim here.

See the latest NATO statement on the INF treaty here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 159
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/07/2019
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: US, Russia
  • Keywords: INF Treaty, EU/NATO enlargement, Encircling Russia, Missile defence system, NATO
  • Outlet: RT (rt.com)
see more

UK media watchdog fines RT without court decision

The UK media regulator Ofcom slapped RT with a £200,000 fine over its alleged breach of due impartiality rules, without waiting for the High Court in London to rule on the legality of the penalty.

Disproof

The report aims to undermine Ofcom's credibility and integrity by claiming that the body issued the fine without giving RT an opportunity to make its case in court.

This is false. The document detailing the sanction decision explicitly states that Ofcom "will not enforce the sanction […] until those proceedings are concluded" (p. 2).

The blackout in Venezuela on July 22 was caused by a US spy plane

Venezuelan government says that the electromagnetic attack that caused the blackout on July 22, leaving 15 of the 23 states of the country without electricity, was launched from a US spy plane. This hasn’t been denied by Washington, which says that it was a mission approved by several nations.

Disproof

No evidence is given to support the claim that the July 22 blackout was caused by an electromagnetic attack or that it was launched from a plane. Rather, most experts think that the most likely reason for the frequent blackouts in Venezuela is the poor maintenance of the electric grid of the country.

Nicolás Maduro’s government tried to link the interception of a US surveillance plane EP-3 by a Sukhoi Su-30 of the Venezuelan Air Force on July 19 to the mentioned power outage that took place three days later. RT news programme intentionally misled spectators by claiming that Washington said “the mission was approved by several nations”. It referred to comments to the Associated Press Spanish service made by the head of the US Southern Command, Admiral Craig Faller, who admitted the existence of surveillance flights over Venezuela in close coordination with Brazil and Colombia, but by no means did he mean an operation to cause a blackout in a country.

The US unilaterally withdraw from the INF treaty which is a core agreement for stability and global security

The US unilaterally withdraw from the INF treaty which is a core agreement for stability and global security.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the INF Treaty. Extensive evidence has been provided of Russia's violations of the INF Treaty.

Russia bears primary responsibility for the end of the INF Treaty, because it has produced, tested and deployed the 9M729 missile, which violates the agreement. In July 2014, then-US President Obama officially accused Russia of testing a missile in violation of the INF Treaty, which prohibits the US or Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range  between 500 and 5500 kilometres.