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Nato says no progress in Russian Federation talks on arms treaty

26 January 2019

A Russian 9M729 Novator ground-based cruise missile, which violates the INF treaty.

Russia's new nuclear-capable missile not only violates the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF) that the country signed with the United States but makes it easier for nuclear war to break out, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned on Thursday.

Under Secretary of State Andrea Thompson rejected the claims, telling reporters the U.S. had presented Russian Federation with data showing the missile had flown more than 4800 kilometers during a test conducted between 2008 and 2013.

But, in the meantime, he said: "We have to realise that the treaty is in real jeopardy". "There was no new information".

Thompson added, "The Russians acknowledged having the system but continued to say in their talking points it didn't violate the INF treaty". When asked if she were optimistic, Thompson said she wasn't. "It can range our European partners today".

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"We continue to provide them with that information".

Nevertheless, he urged Russian Federation to return to compliance over the next week and failing that, during the six-month period it would take the leave the INF treaty.

"Russia has violated the agreement".

"We will directly inform high-ranking North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials about our assessments and ideas on overcoming the today's stalemate", Ryabkov said on late Thursday, pointing out that the U.S. party had already been informed about the Russian position on the issue.

As the debate over the INF treaty was in full swing, the Russian military unveiled a new 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile, or SSC9, as NATO calls it, on January 23, showing off to a public audience a weapon that the USA says violates the treaty.

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It was also reported that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military attaches did not attend the presentation, although Russian officials sent invitations to them. "They continue to deny it", she said. This treaty has banned a whole category of weapons, intermediate range weapons.

A Marine HIMARS missile launcher fires from the deck of the USS Anchorage. The U.S. embassy was not immediately available for comment. The missile has the potential to reach INF-ranges when launched from the ground, and can be integrated on an existing ground vehicle.

US presentations of intelligence information show otherwise. By the spring, however, Army planners can likely start planning to introduce those weapons into the force. "We hope that even if we do not chart a way out of the crisis situation for the INF Treaty, at least we will feel that all is not hopeless".

Asked about the future of arms control agreements now that the INF appears headed to the dustbin of history, Thompson said this shouldn't affect future negotiations of the New Start agreement between the United States and Russian Federation.

"Taking into account the particular topicality of the INF Treaty, the Russian side is open to continue bilateral talks with the United States on this very issue".

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Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing earlier, "The agenda of this scheduled event is far wider than issues related to the INF treaty, as a wide range of issues is expected to be considered there, with an emphasis on nonproliferation of nuclear weapons". "You are now accepting a new norm and setting a precedent for new treaties - 'I'll sign a treaty with you but go ahead and violate it, field the system'". "To not acknowledge it, and to continue to allow it, I think is an action that undermines arms control".

Nato says no progress in Russian Federation talks on arms treaty