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Russia’s envoy slams Washington’s initiative on new nuclear deal

Russia is in favor of making nuclear disarmament a multilateral process, according to the senior diplomat

TASS, August 23. Russian Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov has said that Washington’s proposal to negotiate new nuclear accords that would include more countries is not credible.

"US officials stress the need for China, Russia and US to negotiate a new nuclear deal. Two remarks. 1. It looks like a new style of US diplomacy — first to undermine the existing agreements (JCPOA and INF Treaty) and then offer to conclude new deals. Not a credible approach. 2. In principle Russia believes that time has come to make further nuclear disarmament a multilateral process. But why China only? What about UK and France who are US military allies within NATO? Such 'omissions' don’t make US ideas more credible," the diplomat wrote in a Twitter post on Friday.

On August 2, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that Washington was officially withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. He explained this decision by Russia’s refusal to meet the US demand to destroy its new 9M729 cruise missiles, which, according to the US and its NATO allies, violated the INF Treaty. Russia rejected these demands, saying that the technical parameters of these missiles complied with the treaty’s provisions.

The INF accord, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987, took effect on June 1, 1988. It covered deployed and non-deployed ground-based missiles of intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers). Washington accused Russia of violating the deal on numerous occasions, but Moscow firmly dismissed all accusations, countering the US claims by expressing grievances over Washington’s non-compliance.