Russian Federation withdrawing from nuclear arms treaty following U.S. move

03 February, 2019, 01:08 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in early December that Washington would give Moscow 60 days to return to compliance before it gave formal notice of withdrawal

Following in the footsteps of the U.S., Russian Federation will abandon a centerpiece nuclear arms treaty but will only deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles if Washington does so, President Vladimir Putin said Saturday.

"We will wait until our partners have matured enough to conduct an equal, meaningful dialogue with us on this important topic", the president said.

But Russia has categorically rejected the USA claims of violation, charging that the missile, which is part of the Iskander-M missile system, has a maximum range of 480 kilometers (298 miles).

But Moscow has insisted the disputed 9M729 missile is allowed under the treaty.

Trump said he would like to "get everybody in a big and attractive room and do a new treaty", but in the meantime, the United States "can't be put at a disadvantage".

During the meeting with Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States of violating the INF and other arms deals, including the non-proliferation treaty.

Russia's foreign minister said the United States withdrawal from the pivotal pact has further upset strategic stability.

"They are deploying more and more of the new nuclear-capable missiles in Europe", he said.

He ordered the development of new land-based intermediate-range weapons, but emphasised that Russian Federation will not deploy them in the European part of the country or elsewhere unless the USA does so. Beijing opposes the US' unilateral withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) and urges Moscow and Washington to mediate differences.

European leaders have voiced fears over the consequences of the treaty's demise and called on Russian Federation to address concerns before the United States formally leaves in August. According to the statement made by the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang released on Saturday, Beijing regrets Washington's decision to suspend its liabilities under the Treaty.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the treaty would terminate in six months unless Russian Federation accepts U.S. demands that it verifiably destroy the cruise missiles that Washington claims are in violation.

Putin has previously threatened to develop nuclear missiles banned under the INF treaty if it is scrapped.

He claimed that the USA itself had violated the treaty by deploying missile interceptors in Romania that use the launchers that could hold land-based cruise missiles.

That agreement, which caps the number of nuclear warheads held by Washington and Moscow, expires in 2021.



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