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US continues to insist that Russia violates INF Treaty

Russia continues to violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and ignore warnings from the United States, US Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller said on Tuesday at the Joint Subcommittee Hearing in the Congress.

"Russia continues to be unwilling to acknowledge its violation or address our concerns," Gottemoeller said. "We continue to study and work closely with allies on a series of diplomatic, economic, and military measures to protect the interests of the United States and our Allies," she added.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) is in line with the interests of the United States, US Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security said.

"Together, arms control and deterrence help create the conditions for a more durable and predictable form of strategic stability. Therefore, they benefit US national security," Gottemoeller said.

Washington first accused Moscow of violating the INF Treaty in July 2014. The United States said that Moscow developed land-based cruise missiles prohibited by INF Treaty that bans manufacturing and testing missiles with intermediate ranges (500-5,500 kilometers). However, the US Administration did not clarify which system exactly is a violation of the treaty.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that US accusations of INF Treaty violations "are just as unfounded as everything that concerns Moscow in Washington's claims on other matters." "No proof at all is provided to justify (such claims)," the foreign ministry said. "Problems connected with implementing the INF Treaty are not new" and "are very well known to both sides," the ministry noted. "They should be discussed in the routine mode, without resorting to 'megaphone diplomacy'," the foreign ministry stressed adding that Moscow "has also accumulated many claims to the United States in the context of the Treaty".

[Source: Itar Tass, Washington, 02Dec15]

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