m3n4.net
m3n4.net February 17, 2019


Putin says Russian Federation suspending missile treaty after U.S. move

03 February 2019, 01:10 | Tara Lloyd

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The collapse of the treaty has raised fears of a repeat of a Cold War showdown in the 1980s, when the U.S. and the Soviet Union both deployed intermediate-range missiles on the continent.

Signed towards the end of the Cold War by then USA president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the treaty bans ground-launched missiles with a range of between 500 and 5,500 kilometres.

"Let's wait until our partners are mature enough to conduct an equal and substantive dialogue on those issues", he said. It covered deployed and non-deployed ground-based short-range missiles (from 500 to 1,000 kilometers) and intermediate-range missiles (from 1,000 to 5,500 kilometers).

Putin said Russian Federation would not deploy its weapons in Europe and other regions unless the United States did so.

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The foreign minister said Russian Federation had "tried everything to save the treaty" in several rounds of diplomatic talks.

"We must not and will not be drawn into a costly arms race", he said.

It would reconsider its withdrawal if Russian Federation came into compliance with the agreement, which bans both nations from stationing short- and intermediate-range land-based missiles in Europe.

The Russian Defense Ministry on Saturday released a satellite image of what it described as new production facilities at the US missile maker Raytheon's plant in Tucson, Arizona, noting that their expansion began in 2017 as the Congress authorized spending for the development of intermediate-range missiles. According to the statement made by the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang released on Saturday, Beijing regrets Washington's decision to suspend its liabilities under the Treaty.

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Beijing on Saturday also expressed concern over the mutual suspension, calling for the United States and Russian Federation to engage in "constructive dialogue".

Lavrov on Saturday repeated Russian accusations that Washington itself has been in violation of the deal for many years.

NATO earlier said that United States allies "fully support" its withdrawal and agreed that Russia's 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile systems, whose range is the cause of U.S. concerns, violated the treaty.

That agreement, which caps the number of nuclear warheads held by Washington and Moscow, expires in 2021.

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