Russia Ready to Show US 'Unprecedented Transparency' Over SSC-8 Missile
13:39 21.01.2019(updated 23:18 21.01.2019)
The statement by the official comes amid Washington's plans to suspend the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Moscow.
"We are ready to show unprecedented transparency on the 9M729 missile, which alarms the Americans so much. We offered them a presentation and a briefing on the missile, which absolutely does not follow from the content of the treaty itself. But at the same time, we insist that the Americans take practical steps to alleviate our concerns on the Aegis Ashore systems, deployed in Romania, whose deployment is also scheduled in Poland soon", Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday in an interview with the magazine International Affairs.
The diplomat also stressed that Russia "does not recognise the United States' unilateral decision to suspend the operation of the INF Treaty", considering this action to be legally invalid.
The statement comes after earlier in the day US disarmament ambassador Robert Wood called on Russia to "verifiably destroy all SSC-8 missiles, launchers and associated equipment" in order to save the INF Treaty.
"Unfortunately, the United States increasingly finds that Russia cannot be trusted to comply with its arms control obligations and that its coercive and malign actions around the globe have increased tensions", US official stated during a UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
The two countries clashed on the issue in 2018, when the US accused Russia of violating the INF Treaty, saying that 9M729 missiles (also known as SSC-8), whose range is between 500 and 5,500 kilometres (311 and 3,418 miles), do not comply with the country's obligations under the agreement.
Moscow has refuted the allegations pointing out that the United States has provided no proof that Russia has, in fact, violated the treaty by deploying the missiles.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, commenting on the issue, previously stated that the United States had already started working on the creation of medium- and short-range missiles, stressing that Washington's stance on the INF jeopardises further nuclear disarmament and the sustainability of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
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