Russia must remove from Europe missiles that violate, in the opinion of the American side, the INF Treaty, Jeffrey Eberhardt, the US President’s special envoy for nuclear non-proliferation, told RIA Novosti.
He responded to a request to clarify how the administration of US President Joe Biden relates to the initiative of Russian leader Vladimir Putin to introduce moratoriums on the deployment of intermediate and shorter-range missiles in Europe.
“Russia has already violated the INF Treaty by deploying missiles. So the solution is for them to remove these missiles,” Eberhardt said.
On September 30th, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Washington sticks to a negative position on Russia’s initiative to declare a moratorium on the deployment of shorter-and intermediate-range missiles.
“Undoubtedly, this is one of those questions that, in our opinion, are highly relevant. What we heard was the unchanged position of the Americans on this issue. A mostly negative position regarding Russian President [Vladimir Putin’s] proposal for a moratorium on the deployment of such systems,” Ryabkov said.
According to the Russian diplomat, Moscow stressed its “intention to continue addressing this issue.” “We expressed our readiness to move on along the path of specifying those aspects that are probably seen by the critics of our initiative as lacking details, if Washington demonstrates interest and political will for that,” he said. “If we feel at a certain point that our colleagues on the other side of the negotiating table are really ready to address this matter seriously, professionally, we won’t be found waiting.”
He also noted that European nations are demonstrating no interest to Russia’s initiative. “It looks like that European countries care little about what is going on at their door,” he noted.
In early 2019, Washington announced its unilateral withdrawal from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty), accusing Russia of a prolonged violation of it.
Moscow denied all charges. The agreement was terminated on August 2 of the same year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin later announced a new initiative to resolve the situation with growing tensions in Europe after the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty.
In particular, he said that Moscow is ready, of its own free will, not to deploy 9M729 missiles on the European part of Russia, but subject to reciprocal steps from NATO.
He also suggested that the alliance conduct inspections of Aegis Ashore complexes with Mk-41 launchers at bases in Europe and 9M729 missiles at Kaliningrad facilities.
At the NATO summit held in June, its participants stated that they did not consider the Russian proposal on a moratorium on the deployment of intermediate and shorter-range missiles in Europe after the termination of the relevant treaty acceptable.
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