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G7 ministers call on Russia to be compliant with its obligations under INF treaty
Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven nations called on Moscow to return to full compliance with its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), the final communique said, released after the ministers' two-day meeting in France's Dinard.
"We urge Russia to return to full and verifiable compliance with its obligations under the Treaty, prior to the US withdrawal taking effect, in order to preserve the Treaty. We recognize that Russia's failure to do so will result in the end of the treaty," the document says.
The G7 ministers pledged "to remain vigilant to the security implications of Russia's development and deployment of INF-noncompliant missiles and respond accordingly."
The INF, or the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, Treaty was signed between the former Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987 and entered into force on June 1, 1988. In 1992, following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, the treaty became multilateral with the former Soviet republics - Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine - as successors. The INF Treaty 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).
On February 1, US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that Washington would suspend its liabilities under the INF Treaty starting February 2 and would quit it within six months if Russia did not come into compliance with the agreement. Russian President Vladimir Putin responded in kind, saying that Moscow would suspend the Cold War-era treaty. Moreover, he told the ministers not to initiate disarmament talks with Washington, underscoring that the United States should become "mature enough" for an equitable and meaningful dialogue.
[Source: Itar Tass, Paris, 06Apr19]
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