Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Save US-Russia nuclear treaty, European Union urges

Save US-Russia nuclear treaty, European Union urges

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied being in violation of the INF Treaty, saying the United States knows full well Moscow is in compliance and noted that it is Washington that has breached the accord.

His warning may give Trump pause for thought as he edges closer to unilaterally withdrawing from the INF Treaty, which prohibits the deployment of intermediate range ground-based missiles.

"They are looking for someone to blame for this.ill-considered step", Putin told journalists in Moscow. "This is not so".

"The INF treaty is of great significance for security in Europe", government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said in Berlin on Wednesday.

"What will be the response from our side?"

"One of the main destructive factors deteriorating the global situation is the activities of the United States aimed at retaining the predominant role of the U.S. in the world and excluding other countries from competition", Gerasimov said.

Foreign ministers from NATO member countries said in a statement Tuesday that they "strongly support the finding of the United States that Russian Federation is in material breach of its obligations" under the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The United States holds that Russian Federation has violated the treaty since the mid-2000s by testing the SSC-8 missile system.

In return, NATO foreign ministers agreed to formally declare Russian Federation in "material breach" of the INF treaty in a statement in support of the US.

Pompeo said Russian Federation had developed "multiple battalions of the SSC-8 missiles", referring to the land-based, intermediate-range cruise missile which also has the name of Novator 9M729.

Putin in March described the new arms as Russia's response to the US decision in 2002 to pull out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and develop its global defense shield.

"During this 60 days we will still not test or produce or deploy any systems, and we'll see what happens during this 60-day period", he said. Back in 2002, under George W. Bush, Washington has withdrawn from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM), "one of the cornerstones of worldwide security". He stressed that the U-S has remained committed to the treaty despite what he called flagrant violations by Moscow.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told NATO allies on Tuesday that the U.S.is setting a two-month deadline for Russian Federation to return to compliance with the INF treaty before carrying out President Donald Trump's threat in October to withdraw from the accord.

Germany, the Netherlands and Belgian are concerned about the deployment of U.S. missiles in Europe, as happened in the 1980s. "We're hopeful they'll change course, but there's been no indication to date that they have any intention of doing so".

It is also possible for Russia to deploy intermediate-range missiles, and primarily cruise missiles, in Latin American countries like Cuba, once the INF Treaty is terminated, according to Leonid Ivashov, former head of the Russian Defense Ministry's main department for worldwide military cooperation.

Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the US ultimatum was an "escalation of the situation". This is not true, we are against destruction of the treaty.

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