World 06-12-2018

USA: Russia must end its 9M729 missiles or adapt them to the INF Treaty

Russia must end the development of its 9M729 missile system or modify it to comply with the requirements of the Short and Medium Range Missile Elimination Treaty (INF), he said in a conference call Assistant US Deputy Secretary for Arms Control, Andrea Thompson.

"The SS-CX-8 [cruise missiles 9M729] have a range that does not comply" with the treaty, Thompson said.

The official added that "either you get rid of the system or the shuttle or you change it at a distance that does not exceed the scope allowed" by the treaty.

For his part, the US ambassador to Moscow, Jon Huntsman, told reporters that Russia has not shown signs of readiness to return to full compliance with the Treaty of Elimination of Short and Medium Range Missiles.

"Russia has not shown any signs so far that it intends to return to full compliance" with the treaty, Huntsman said.

Huntsman added that the US position does not mean an abandonment of the arms control policy.

"We do this to more broadly preserve the viability and integrity of arms control agreements, we remain committed to non-proliferation, but we need a reliable partner and we do not have it in Russia for the INF treaty, nor for other treaties. who is violating, "said the ambassador.

In addition, the ambassador stated that the United States Government remains committed to arms control, despite plans to suspend compliance with the INF Treaty in 60 days.

"This does not mean that we are abandoning arms control," the diplomat said, adding that "we do this to more broadly preserve the viability and integrity of arms control agreements." We remain committed to non-proliferation, but we need a partner reliable and we do not have it in Russia for the INF Treaty, in fact neither for other treaties that it is violating ".

Huntsman also reported that Washington's decision to withdraw from the INF Treaty in 60 days if Russia does not return to full compliance with that agreement is not an ultimatum.

"I heard today [December 6] that someone was saying that we were somehow giving an ultimatum (...) and I must say that this is the exact opposite of an ultimatum.This has been worked out very methodically for years by two administrations, with dozens of contacts at a very high level, "said the ambassador.

US Secretary of State (Foreign Minister) Mike Pompeo said on December 4 that Washington would suspend its accession to the INF Treaty within 60 days unless Russia fully respects it.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters on December 5 that Washington has not provided any evidence to support his accusation that Moscow violates the treaty.

Putin also stressed that if the US wants to develop weapons banned by the INF Treaty, Russia will do the same.

The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by the then Soviet Union and the United States to force the parties to destroy their ballistic missiles launched from land and cruises whose range was between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.

The two countries have accused each other of being in breach of the agreement.

Russia alleges that the United States deployed shuttles for its Tomahawk missiles in Romania and Poland, violating the treaty, and has stressed that Washington develops combat drones and funds investigations for the production of cruise missiles launched from the ground.

Moscow has repeatedly argued that it does not violate any provision of that agreement against the proliferation of strategic weapons.

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