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Putin informs CSTO summit of the prospects of talks on INF treaty

The Russian leader also informed the summit of the situation in Syria

ASTANA, November 8. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has informed participants in the summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) on the prospects of starting a talk with the US side on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

"Putin informed the summit participants in detail about the situation with strategic stability and arms control in the wake of the US decision to quit the INF Treaty, on the prospects of starting a talk with the American side on the INF Treaty," Peskov said.

Responding to a question about how the CSTO leaders reacted to Putin’s report on strategic stability in the wake of the US decision to quit the INF Treaty, the Kremlin spokesman noted: "No doubt, everyone perceives with interest this information because such steps as the US withdrawal from the treaty cannot but cause concern and this relates in general to the issue of global security."

Putin has also informed the summit of the situation in Syria, in particular of a dialogue in the Astana format. "He also informed his colleagues in the CSTO of a dialogue launched by representatives from the Astana format and the so-called Small Group on Syria," Peskov said referring to the recent summit in Istanbul. "He also informed them about different nuances in Syrian affairs. Other regional conflicts were mentioned as well," the spokesman said.

US President Donald Trump said on October 20 that his country would quit the INF Treaty because Russia was allegedly in breach of that agreement. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov described this as a dangerous move. Washington was also criticized in Berlin and Beijing. In the meantime, London came out in support of the United States and NATO placed the responsibility for Trump’s decision on Russia, because in its opinion Moscow had apparently violated the treaty.

The INF Treaty was signed on December 8, 1987 and took effect on June 1, 1988. It outlawed deployed and non-deployed intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers) ground-based missiles. In recent years Washington has repeatedly alleged Russia was in breach of the agreement. Moscow emphatically dismissed the charges and countered them with its own claims over the United States’ non-compliance.