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Tensions over intermediate nuclear force treaty high — Russian foreign ministry

March 11, 2015, 17:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The intermediate nuclear force (INF) Soviet-US treaty of 1987 that outlawed the intermediate and shorter range missiles is not falling apart yet, says a Russian diplomat
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Elimination of SS-23 missile under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, 1989 (archive)

Elimination of SS-23 missile under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, 1989 (archive)

© Vladimir Velengurov/Fotokhronika TASS

MOSCOW, 11 March. /TASS/. The intermediate nuclear force (INF) Soviet-US treaty of 1987 that outlawed the intermediate and shorter range missiles is not falling apart yet, but tensions over it are soaring high, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s non-proliferation and arms control department, Mikhail Ulyanov, told a news conference on Wednesday.

"Some actions by our US colleagues cause great surprise. At a meeting with a US delegation in Moscow on the issue US delegates did explain what particularly they do not like - in their scheme of things we are expected to say voluntarily what we have violated and to confess violations," Ulyanov said. "This kind of approach does not look serious to us."

"At the same time we have at least three questions about US compliance with the treaty. I cannot say that the replies the Americans offered satisfied us," the diplomat said.

"The discussion with the United States on this subject will go on. Its outcome is anyone’s guess but at this point it would be wrong to say that the treaty is falling apart," Ulyanov concluded.

US actions jeopardize nuclear disarmament process

Ulyanov said that US actions undermine the global strategic stability and make further steps towards nuclear disarmament problematic.

He reminded that the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty signed in 2010 envisaged a reduction in the nuclear potentials of Russia and the United States, adding that "there was no doubt that both countries would accomplish the task".

Ulyanov added that Washington’s current actions, specifically, the deployment of anti-ballistic missile system in Europe and development of high-precision strategic non-nuclear weapons brought into question further steps towards nuclear disarmament.

"In such circumstances, the continuation of the nuclear disarmament process seems problematic", he said.

"This is a question that should be posed to the United States", Ulyanov said, adding that Russia’s focus was on creating the necessary conditions for disarmament.

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