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Russia, US to discuss reciprocal claims on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

September 11, 2014, 9:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW
In July this year, the US government accused Russia of violating the INF provisions
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© ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, September 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia and the United States hold consultations on Thursday to discuss reciprocal claims on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), Russian Foreign Ministry sources said.

Consultations will be held behind closed doors. The Russian delegation will be led by Mikhail Ulyanov, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry department for non-proliferation and weapons control, while heading the US delegation is Rose Gottemoeller, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.

“For a very long time, we have been posing serious questions to our American colleagues but we have not received any answers. Now, we have agreed that they will pay a visit to us to discuss our reciprocal concerns,” Ulyanov said on Monday. Russia has destroyed all weapons under the INF treaty but it is, nevertheless, ready to listen to US claims if the Americans have anything concrete, he said.

In July this year, the US government accused Russia of violating the INF provisions. Washington claimed that Russia had breached its commitment not to produce and test a ground-based cruise missile with a range from 500 to 5,500 kilometers or not to possess or produce launchers for this type of missiles. But apart from incoherent references to some secrete intelligence data, the United States has so far failed to give any concrete fact of violation.

According to Ulyanov, Russia has much more serious and justified claims to the United States caused by its free interpretation of the INF provisions. In a recent comment, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed serious concern with the fact that the United States test launched target missiles, which have similar characteristics as intermediate-range missiles, during its air defense exercises.

Russian experts believe that US armed drones can clearly be defined as cruise missiles under the INF classification.

“Questions related to the Mk-41 missile launchers which the United States is planning to deploy in Poland and Romania have become particularly urgent in recent days. These launchers can be used to launch medium-range cruise missiles and their appearance on the surface will be a gross violation of the INF Treaty,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987.

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