Russian Federation denies it is violating nuclear arms treaty

Geneva Stokes
December 6, 2018

Putin's remarks to Russian news agencies on Wednesday came a day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced at a NATO meeting that Washington will suspend its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 60 days, citing Russian "cheating".

The United States warned Russian Federation on Tuesday that it would withdraw from the Cold War-era treaty limiting mid-range nuclear arms if Moscow does not return to compliance within 60 days. The treaty is set to expire in 2021, but Russian Federation has expressed an interest in having it renewed.

"They are looking for someone to blame for this.ill-considered step", Putin told journalists in Moscow. "The easiest thing is [to tell] the Western public that "Russia is guilty". "This is not so".

Stoltenberg said the 29 NATO allies will "collectively develop responses" should the treaty be abandoned, but he declined to say what they might be.

"It seems that our American partners believe that the situation has changed so much that the USA has to have this type of weapons", he said in televised remarks. "It is now up to Russian Federation to preserve the INF treaty", foreign ministers from the 29-member alliance said in a joint statement after talks in Brussels.

Russian Federation has denied that it has been violating the treaty.

Mr. Pompeo's announcement Tuesday marked an escalation of USA threats to abandon the INF in response to Russian cheating and, on Wednesday, Mr. Gerasimov emphasized Moscow's frustration at the move.

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He said the U.S. will produce, test and deploy new missiles now banned under the treaty, a move that could pave the way for a nuclear arms race. He stressed that the U-S has remained committed to the treaty despite what he called flagrant violations by Moscow.

The foreign ministers of NATO member countries said Tuesday in a statement that they supported the USA finding that Russian Federation is in "material breach" of its obligations under the INF Treaty and called on Russian Federation to return urgently to full and verifiable compliance.

"During this 60 days, we will still not test or produce or deploy any systems, and we'll see what happens during this 60-day period", Pompeo told journalists in Brussels.

Former Russian lieutenant-general Evgeny Buzhinskiy said the terrifying weapons system is capable of penetrating anti-missile defences in the United States and Europe.

"They are not going to change course on the basis of a US threat to withdraw", Kimball said. "We either bury our head in the sand or we take common sense action in response to Russia's flagrant disregard for the expressed terms of the INF Treaty", he said.

Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the USA ultimatum was an "escalation of the situation".

But it was a bilateral treaty between the U.S. and the then Soviet Union, so it puts no restrictions on other major military actors like China.

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