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Kremlin not welcoming termination of INF Treaty when no hints at new one exist

The spokesman said "there are no prospects for the emergence of a new document"
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, October 23. /TASS/. The Kremlin sees no outlook for a substitute of the current Intermediate Nuclear Force Treaty and in this situation it is strongly against the idea of terminating that agreement, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Tuesday.

"Certainly, there are bottlenecks. But ruining the treaty in a situation where even hints at concluding a new one do not exist is something that we do not welcome. Today the president [Vladimir Putin] is to receive explanations [from US presidential adviser John Bolton] on that score," he said.

Asked if an improved treaty on the elimination of intermediate and shorter range missiles instead of the current INF Treaty would be more preferable, Peskov replied in the negative.

"No, I would not say so, because for now there are no prospects for the emergence of a new document," he said to explain the Kremlin’s viewpoint. "It is most important to understand if it is possible or not possible. Quitting the agreement first and then discussing the hypothetical, ephemeral possibility of concluding a new treaty is a pretty risky stance."

Peskov called for waiting for comments US presidential adviser John Bolton might present at the forthcoming meeting with the Russian leader.

"We prefer to wait for the explanations that will be presented to Putin on that score," Peskov concluded.

On Saturday, October 20 Trump said the United States would quit the INF Treaty, because Russia, he claimed, was in breach of the agreement. At the same time he mentioned the possibility of concluding another treaty on intermediate and shorter range missiles with Moscow and Beijing, provided they promised to terminate the development of such weapons. For the first time the United States accused Russia of violating the INF in July 2014. Washington has since repeated the charges many times. Moscow strongly dismissed the accusations and presented its counter-complaints over the United States’ compliance with the INF Treaty, concluded between the Soviet Union and the United States in Washington on December 8, 1987.

On December 13, 2001 the 43rd US president, George W. Bush, formally declared that Washington had pulled out from the anti-ballistic missile treaty of 1972. Officially the United States quit the ABM Treaty on June 13, 2002.