TOKYO, January 30. /TASS/. Mayor of Hiroshima Kazumi Matsui and Mayor of Nagasaki Tomihisa Taue have called on Moscow and Washington to prevent the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
"We are deeply concerned the demise of the treaty without alternative measures will increase the risk of the use of nuclear weapons," they stressed in their joint letter to the Russian and US leaders.
The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki also called for developing specific proposals to achieve nuclear disarmament.
They also hoped that the United States and Russia would play a leading role in efforts aimed at preventing a repeat of the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
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 these accusations and countered them with its own claims over the United States’ non-compliance. Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier said Moscow was opposed to scrapping the INF Treaty but would have to respond accordingly, if Washington withdrew from it.