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Russia preparing to discuss Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with USA

Lavrov Says Moscow Preparing Answers To U.S. Nuclear-Treaty Concerns, Radio Free Europe, 28 Oct 18 Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said Moscow was drafting responses to a list of questions recently presented by the United States concerning a key Cold War-era arms control treaty.Lavrov made the comments on October 28, days after President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, repeating longstanding U.S. accusations that Moscow had violated the agreement.

The 1987 accord prohibits the United States and Russia from possessing, producing, or deploying ground-launched cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of between 500 and 5,000 kilometers.

“Just a week ago, a couple of days before they announced their intention to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the Americans via their embassy in Moscow sent the Russian Foreign Ministry an extensive list of questions which are a concern to them,” Lavrov said in an interview aired on Russian television.

“It is better to come to terms with Russia on an equal basis and it is not necessary to be friends,” the Russian minister also said. “We are not forcing a friendship.”………

START Under Threat?

In the wake of U.S. threats to withdraw from the INF Treaty, Lavrov said that the “fate of the New START Treaty is unclear.”

The New START Treaty limits strategic nuclear weapons. It was signed in 2010 and is due to expire in 2021, although the two sides could agree to extend it for another five years.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Washington’s withdrawal from the INF Treaty could lead to a new “arms race.”

Meanwhile, European members of NATO have urged Washington to try to bring Russia back into compliance with the nuclear arms control agreement rather than quitting it, diplomats say.

Speaking on October 28, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the United States was in consultation with its European allies on the INF Treaty.

When asked whether he could rule out placing intermediate-range missiles on the ground if Washington left the INF Treaty, Mattis told reporters travelling with him to Prague, “I never rule things out like that, I also don’t rule it in.” ………https://www.rferl.org/a/lavrov-says-moscow-preparing-answers-to-u-s-inf-concerns/29568360.html

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October 29, 2018 - Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA

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