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Keeping INF treaty in place to require more responsibility from US - Russian diplomat

According to Sergey Ryabkov, the Russia side has informed the US in detail about its position on matter of concern for Washington

MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. Russia insists on keeping the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, abbreviated as INF Treaty, in place but wants Washington to demonstrate a more responsible approach, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview with the Kommersant daily.

"We are in favor of keeping the treaty in force but it will take a more responsible approach from the United States," he said. "We have been telling them [the US] that in the interests of removing problems around this treaty our dialogue should be continued, moreover, it should be more concrete."

According to the Russian diplomat, the Russia side has informed the US in detail about its position on matter of concern for Washington. "I hope the decisions of the US side on this matter will take into account our position and I hope these decisions will be in favor of keeping this treaty in effect rather than of continuing to shake it loose," he stressed.

The United States accused Russia of deploying cruise missiles banned by the INF Treaty, concealing information about tactical capabilities of Iskander systems and modernizing Kalibr-NK missiles. Moscow denies these accusations as groundless.

In it turn, Russia voices concern over the United States’ wide use of unmanned aerial vehicles that can replace short-and intermediate-range missiles, development of target missiles having the same parameters as operational missiles, deployment of missile defense systems in Eastern Europe capable of firing cruise missiles.

The INF Treaty, the abbreviated name of the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, was signed on December 8, 1987 and entered into force on June 1, 1988. In 1992, following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, the treaty was multilateralized with the former Soviet republics - Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine - as successors.

The INF Treaty covered deployed and non-deployed ground-based short-range missiles (from 500 to 1,000 kilometers) and intermediate-range missiles (from 1,000 to 5,500 kilometers). In all, the former Soviet Union eliminated 1,846 missiles, while the United States - 846 missiles.