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WASHINGTON, March 24. /TASS/. Under-Secretary for Arms Control and International Security at the US Department of State Rose Gottemoeller has said Washington is ready to continue the dialogue with Moscow on the observance of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
Gottemoeller told a TASS correspondent at the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference in Washington, DC on Monday that the United States seeks to settle the issues related to the treaty, which was signed in 1987.
The diplomat said the goal is to find a mutually acceptable solution to the issues which Washington raised during the consultations with the Russian government. She said the discussions on the issue are ongoing.
Washington has recently started suspecting that Moscow is violating the INF treaty, the US official said. According to the US, Russia is developing a new cruise missile which is banned under the treaty.
The Russian officials say that the US itself violates the treaty. In February, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the US actions "are in conflict with the spirit and the letter of this document." For instance, the minister said armed drones widely used by the US fall within the treaty’s definition of intermediate-range cruise land-based missiles.
"The treaty directly prohibits ABM launchers, which will soon be deployed in Romania and Poland, because they can be used to launch intermediate-range cruise missiles," the minister said.
"While refusing to acknowledge these facts, our US colleagues assert they have some "substantiated" claims against Russia with respect to the INF Treaty, but diligently avoid specifics," he said.
In comments to Moscow’s accusations, Gottemoeller said that in her opinion the Russian colleagues had been provided with "substantial information" on the issue. She also confirmed the US readiness to continue talks in an effort to solve the dispute related to the INF treaty.