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MOSCOW, September 21. /ITAR-TASS/. The Kremlin sees no reasons to unilaterally quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, but it is possible in exceptional circumstances, Sergei Ivanov, the chief of the Kremlin administration, said on Sunday.
“In principle, each of the parties may withdraw from the treaty in exceptional circumstances,” he said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily. “So far, and I would like to stress it, I see no such circumstance.”
“As a matter of fact, we adherents of the principle of implementing international liabilities,” he said. “Unless we see that our security interests are seriously threatened.”
He said that prior to 2003 Russia and the United States had had regular consultations on the INF Treaty but later they had been stopped at the initiative of the U.S. side. “Now, the INF Treaty is in the focus of discussion, including in a regime of accusations and counteraccusation. The American side is loudly but groundlessly accusing us of actual violation of the treaty, but we have still more claims to the Americans,” Ivanov said, citing among them target missiles the United States used during tests of its missile system, offensive operations drones and the ongoing implementation of missile defence plans providing for the deployment of MK-41 launch platforms in Europe.
Drawback of this treaty had become evident, he said, adding that the key one was its bilateral character. “It means that any other country of the world is free to do whatever it wants as concerns this type of weapons,” Ivanov noted. As an example, he cited such countries as North Korea, Israel, Pakistan, India, Iran, which did have such type of weapons and which were located near Russia. “By the way, over the time of the Bush administration, the American leaders were fully aware of that; different geographical location requires different approaches to defence,” he noted.
He said that the first round of new Russia-U.S. consultations had been held and the sides had told each other what they thought about it. “Let us wait for the continuation,” he added.