Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

"No Evidence" Of Russia Violating Major Cold War Arms Treaty: Putin

U.S. signals it will suspend nuclear treaty with Russia after NATO finding US to suspend nuclear pact over alleged violations
Andrew Cummings | 09 December, 2018, 05:14

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that facts had been distorted "in order to camouflage the true goal of the United States withdrawing from the treaty".

Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the United States has yet to provide any evidence Moscow is in breach of a landmark arms control treaty but Russian Federation is ready to keep discussing the matter with Washington.

"One of the main destructive factors complicating the worldwide situation is how the USA is acting as it attempts to retain its dominant role in the world", he said in comments released by the defence ministry. "Russia's reply has been consistent: deny any wrongdoing, demand more information, and issue baseless counter-accusations".

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Tuesday rejected accusations from the USA and NATO that Moscow is in violation of the INF nuclear missile treaty.

Russian officials warned that Moscow would take retaliatory measures if Washington withdraws from the INF Treaty.

He cited Russia's recent clash with Ukraine, saying the USA hoped the Russians would return captured Ukrainian soldiers "immediately".

Russian Federation has denied violating the INF treaty, at first denying the existence of the weapons system and then later admitting it existed but arguing it was in compliance.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, signed by the United States and the Soviet Union in 1987, banned nuclear and nonnuclear missiles with ranges from about 310 to 3,400 miles.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R) has given Russian Federation 60 days to comply with the nuclear treaty. "The German government welcomes the fact that the American government is giving its preservation another chance", she added, referring to the 60-day deadline.

"Apparently, our American partners believe that the situation has changed so drastically that the U.S. should also have such weapons", Putin said in remarks carried by the Interfax news service.

"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.

The treaty, negotiated by President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, prevents the USA and Russian Federation them from building or deploying nuclear-capable missiles and launch systems with a range of 300 to 3,400 miles.

Earlier Wednesday, the Defense Ministry said it's deployed laser weapons, one of several systems President Vladimir Putin touted as a new generation of armaments during his annual address in March.

Hard to detect and fired from mobile launchers, the Russian missiles are especially risky because they reduce the warning time that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation air defences might have to shoot them down, military experts say.

The U.S. will remain in compliance for the next 60 days and then begin the six-month notice period before withdrawal, he said, adding that if Russian Federation comes back into compliance before then, the U.S. could remain in the agreement.

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