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US affirms ultimatum to Russia

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US-Russia
affirms ultimatum

A meeting with Russia had no result: in the dispute over the disarmament treaty INF, the US has repeated its ultimatum to Moscow, at the beginning of February to leave the agreement.

For weeks, the US accuses Russia of breaking the INF disarmament treaty with the construction of new medium-range weapons. Now Washington has reaffirmed its ultimatum to Russia. Accordingly, the United States would no longer feel bound to the contract from 2 February, if Russia does not agree until then to the destruction of new cruise missiles.

Russia is violating the agreement with its system called 9M729 (NATO code: SSC-8), US Secretary of State Andrea Thompson said Wednesday at a press conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Russia has to decide between its anti-contractual system and the treaty. The current situation in which Russia violates the treaty but the US is bound by the treaty is untenable for the US.

In November, the US set Moscow a deadline of 60 days to give in, which expires in early February. Russia, however, shows no willingness to compromise and accuses NATO in return, also to break the contract with the deployment of a missile defense system in Romania.

The INF Treaty on Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces was concluded in 1987 between the US and the then Soviet Union. It commits both sides to the abolition of all land-based ballistic missiles and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5500 kilometers. At the same time, he also prohibits the production and testing of such systems.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the US on Wednesday to ignore solutions. His government had offered to have the new rockets criticized by the Americans examined by experts. Washington, however, continued to insist on the ultimatum, which provides for the destruction of the 9M729 cruise missiles and related technology.

Moscow is still prepared to work on a rescue of the INF Treaty, Lavrov said. He hopes for the support of European countries. The US action is a sign of low mutual trust. „It also makes foreign policy thinking militarized,“ he said.