PARIS, September 26. /TASS/. France is considering the proposal by Russian President Vladimir Putin on deploying intermediate and shorter-range missiles in Europe and other regions, a French Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Thursday.
"We are studying Russia’s proposals regarding this issue of high importance. Our offers regarding the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty are known. France regrets the fact that no solution has been found to ensure that the treaty remains in force," the spokesperson said. The French Foreign Ministry stresses that the INFTreaty "is a basic element of ensuring European security."
"Together, we have to consider the conditions that can recover strategic stability in Europe through dialogue on multilateral instruments and structures. This includes the discussion of the future of arms control in the context of the dissolution of the INF Treaty and the discussion of the possible prolongation of New START [Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty]," the spokesperson noted. The French Foreign Ministry reminded that "this has been reaffirmed by the French Foreign Minister [Jean-Yves Le Drian] and the French Minister of Defense [Florence Parly] during their visit to Moscow on September 9."
Earlier, the Kommersant daily reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin had sent a proposal to the leaders of several countries, including NATO member states, to introduce a moratorium on deploying intermediate and shorter-range missiles in Europe and other regions. According to the daily, the Russian leader sent letters to several non-NATO states, including China. He also addressed his proposal to High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
On Thursday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Putin’s proposal has been circulated "among the main countries of Europe and Asia and international organizations."