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Russia answers all US questions on compliance with INF Treaty, says diplomat

 Moscow continues to maintain dialogue with Washington on the implementation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) and answered all questions posed by the American side, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters on Friday.

"We have continued dialogue with the US on the INF Treaty in specialized formats," he said. "Currently there is no reason to say that we have not answered some American questions [on the INF Treaty]. However, there is no specific schedule as to when, where and who answers questions, and what questions are answered."

Ryabkov added that, unlike Washington, Moscow was interested in keeping up the dialogue on the issue. "The United States, accusing us of violating the treaty, draw the conclusion that it was no longer of any value to it. However, we, while putting forward much more substantial claims against Washington, do not do anything like that," he said. "We continue to be confident that this treaty is of great value for European, global and our own security."

According to Ryabkov, Moscow has not yet received any formal notification on Washington’s withdrawal from the treaty. "So far, all that we heard is just statements on the intention to take this step. Of course, there is an obvious difference between intentions and specific steps," he concluded.

US President Donald Trump said on October 20 that his country would quit the INF Treaty because Russia was allegedly in breach of that agreement.

The US accused Russia of violating the agreement for the first time in July 2014. Later on, Washington repeated these claims more than once, while Moscow rejected them, likewise accusing the US of violating the treaty. The INF Treaty was signed between the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987 in Washington, DC.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 23Nov18]

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