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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Washington Doesn't Believe Russia Serious About Readiness to Preserve INF Treaty

Sputnik News

21:15 15.12.2018(updated 21:16 15.12.2018)

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Washington does not believe that Moscow is seriously committed to preserving the Russian-US Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty since the latter does not recognize having violated the treaty, White House National Security Council (NSC) Spokesperson Garrett Marquis told Sputnik.

"If Russia had an interest in saving the INF treaty, it would immediately take steps to destroy its treaty-violating cruise missiles, launchers, and support equipment. After five years of talks, absent an indication that Russian leaders are prepared to admit to the violations, we cannot conclude Russia is being serious," Marquis said.

The statement comes after, Vladimir Ermakov, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control, told Sputnik on 14 December that if Washington wanted to negotiate with Russia on the INF Treaty, then it is necessary to get down to the negotiations table, hold intergovernmental-format talks, and discuss everything thoroughly. Russia is ready for this, he stressed.

Also the same day, Russia introduced a draft resolution to the UN General Assembly in support of the preservation of the treaty.

In recent years, Moscow and Washington have regularly accused each other of violating the INF Treaty. Russia has repeatedly stated that it strictly complies with its obligations under the contract. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that Moscow has very serious questions regarding the implementation of the treaty by the United States. In early December, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would suspend its adherence to the INF Treaty within 60 days unless Russia returned to full compliance with the agreement.

Moscow has repeatedly refuted US allegations that Russia has violated the 1987 INF treaty, which bans ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,5kilometresers (311 to 3,417 miles). In turn, Moscow has complained that launchers on US defence systems in Europe can fire cruise missiles at ranges that violate the INF's terms.


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