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US Has Proposed to Hold Arms Control Talks with Russia

WASHINGTON – The United States has offered to hold arms control talks with Russia at a UN meeting in Beijing next week, which would almost certainly include a quarrel over a Cold War treaty, Reuters reports quoting a senior State Department official.
US Under-Secretary of State Andrea Thompson reiterated that the Trump government would “suspend our obligations” under the disputed pact if Russia did not comply with the law on 2nd February. But the decision is “reversible” and Washington has not made a final decision on complete withdrawal from the United States, she said.
The dispute over the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty has aggravated the most serious tensions between the United States and Russia since the end of the cold war in 1991.
Washington accuses Russia of violating the INF Treaty by deploying the Novass 9M729 nuclear-capable cruise missile launched on the ground. The weapon exceeds the reach limit of the 500-5,000 km pact and targets European allies, according to Washington.
To return to compliance with the treaty, Russia must destroy the missiles, including three battalions deployed, said Thompson.
Russia rejects the US allegations and declares that the missile, designated SSC-8 by NATO, is in line with the pact, accusing, the United States of inventing a false pretext to leave an agreement that he wants to leave anyway to develop his own new missiles.
Thompson said her talks she had last week in Geneva with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov failed to resolve the dispute.
But, she added, that she proposed to discuss with Ryabkov arms control issues, which would certainly include the quarrel on the sidelines of a UN Security Council meeting on non-proliferation next week in Beijing.
“I told the deputy foreign minister when it would be appropriate and the next steps are concrete, then I’m ready to talk,” said Thompson. “But coming to the table and hearing the same story of the past five years is not a productive use of our time.”
Thompson on Wednesday rejected the first unveiling in Moscow of the innovator for diplomats and journalists, proving that it conformed to the INF treaty.
“The static display of a missile can not tell you how far a missile will fly,” she said.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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