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US seeks to use Russia in standoff with China, Italian expert says

It is "no coincidence" that the US missile was fired off the Pacific Coast, according to the analyst

ROME, August 23. /TASS/. The US administration will keep on trying to use Russia in its standoff with China, which may help improve relations between Washington and Moscow, Italian political scientist and Limes magazine analyst Dario Fabbri told TASS on Friday.

"It is definitely Donald Trump’s idea to reconstitute the G8 with Russia as a member. Just like the Barack Obama administration, the current US administration wants to build relations with Russia to use them against China. The domestic political situation in the United States doesn’t allow Trump to reach a rapprochement with Russia but it will become possible once Washington decides to use Russia in its standoff with China," Fabbri emphasized.

According to him, the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the recent test of a ground-launched cruise missile, which exceeded limits set by the document, make it clear that Washington’s determination to end the INF Treaty had to do with China. "It is no coincidence that the missile was tested off the Pacific coast. It indicates that the INF Treaty pullout was aimed more against China than against Russia," the Italian expert pointed out.

Russia and G7

US President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday that "it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in" [the G8]. According to a senior US administration official cited by CNN, Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron held a telephone conversation on Tuesday and agreed that the Russian president should be invited to the G7 summit in 2020. According to CNN, Trump plans to broach the topic at a G7 summit scheduled to take place in Biarritz, France, on August 24-26.

On August 21, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow was ready to consider initiatives concerning the revival of the G8 platform if the G7 countries put any forward. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in turn, told reporters on August 22 that returning to the G8 was not a goal in itself for Russia particularly because the G20 platform provided more opportunities for resolving various issues. However, he pointed to Putin’s statements about Moscow’s readiness to communicate with other countries on any platform.

INF Treaty issue

On August 2, Washington formally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987. It applied to deployed and non-deployed ground-based missiles of intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers). Washington repeatedly accused Russia of violating the accord, but Moscow vehemently dismissed all accusations and, in its turn, expressed grievances over Washington’s non-compliance.

Following Washington’s withdrawal, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that the Treaty had been terminated at the United States’ initiative.