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Russian lawmaker slams US claims of INF Treaty violation as groundless

September 22, 13:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The United States has been accusing Russia of breaching the treaty since July 2014

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MOSCOW, September 22. /TASS/. Washington groundlessly accuses Moscow of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), Chairman of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Defense Committee Vladimir Shamanov said.

"Why comment on irresponsible statements? Let him provide evidence," he told TASS when asked to comment on US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statements on this issue. "They are trying to shift the blame to us in order to justify their own steps," Shamanov said.

While addressing the United Nations Security Council Session on Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Tillerson accused Russia of abandoning meaningful cooperation with other countries in strengthening the non-proliferation regime. "Unfortunately, in recent years, Russia has often acted in ways that weaken global norms and undercut efforts to hold nations accountable. Examples include violating its own obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, flouting the security assurances it made at the end of the Cold War, impeding efforts to build on the legacy of past international efforts on nuclear security, and seeking to weaken the International Atomic Energy Agency’s independence in investigating clandestine nuclear programs," Tillerson said.

"If Russia wants to restore its role as a credible actor in resolving the situation with North Korea, it can prove its good intentions by upholding its commitments to established international efforts on nuclear security and arms control," the US secretary of state added.

The United States has been accusing Russia of breaching the treaty since July 2014, but Moscow has been rejecting Washington’s accusations. In his address to the UN Security Council, Tillerson referred to the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances. According to a statement made earlier by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, it was not Moscow that violated the document but those who were behind the 2014 Ukrainian coup.

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