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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia, US: No Progress in Talks Over 1987 Nuclear Arms Treaty

By VOA News January 15, 2019

Russia and the United States said Tuesday there was no progress in talks over Washington's intention to withdraw from a 1987 nuclear arms treaty because it says Moscow is violating its terms.

"On the whole, we are forced to state that there is no progress. The U.S. position is frozen in its uncompromising and peremptory demands," state news agency Tass quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying after talks with U.S. Under Secretary of State Andrea Thompson in Geneva.

The U.S. side described the meeting as "disappointing."

The three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty bans production, testing and deployment of land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. President Donald Trump said the U.S. would abandon the pact on Feb. 2 because of Russian violations.

Ryabkov contended that "responsibility for (the possible demise of the treaty) fully and completely rests with the American side." He said the two sides failed to agree on anything and that Washington did not appear to be willing to negotiate further.

The U.S. has demanded that Russia dismantle missiles that Washington claims violate the treaty.

Ryabkov said Russia proposed holding more negotiations but got no answer from the U.S.

"We are ready for dialogue on the basis of equality, mutual respect, (and) without putting forward ultimatums," Ryabkov said.

Ryabkov said Russia would brief European diplomats Friday on the status of the talks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month that collapse of the treaty would threaten a new arms race. Putin suggested that he was open to other countries joining the INF treaty or to starting talks on a new agreement.

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