Washington: negotiations on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia failed

The closed negotiations between Russia and the US on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty have ended inconclusively.

The American delegation is “disappointed” with the results of the meeting, which was held in Geneva on Tuesday, said US Under Secretary of State Andrea Thompson.

According to her, the results of the negotiations – the first since the US threatened to withdraw from the INF Treaty - “have clearly shown” that Russia is still “in material breach of the treaty”, which prohibits it from testing and adopting into its armament missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 km, which could be used against NATO’s European member-states.

The Russian delegation “did not come prepared to explain how it plans to return to full and verifiable compliance” tweeted Thompson, who headed the US delegation at the meeting.

“Our message was clear: Russia must destroy its noncompliant missile system,” she said in a later tweet.

The Russian delegation to the negotiations, which were held only three weeks before the expiry date of Washington’s ultimatum, were headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

“Recently we have noted that the American party has even toughened its tone, this is not a very favorable signal to us,” he said before the start of the consultation.

On December 2, the US gave Russia 60 days to destroy or modify its 9M729 missile, whose specifications Washington believes are in breach of the treaty.

In support of its stance, the US showed NATO allies satellite photos of tests in which the missile flew a distance prohibited by the treaty. The alliance then made a joint statement, accusing Russia of violations.

The deadline of the US’s ultimatum is February 2, after which the US itself will stop abiding by the treaty.

Russia’s response accusation against the US is that its MK-41 universal vertical launching systems installed in Europe are a breach of the treaty, since they can be used to fire not only anti-missiles, but also offensive missiles, Russia’s Defense Ministry believes.

 

  USA, Russia, Ryabkov, INF Treaty, NATO

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