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Another nuclear pact with US in trouble: Russia

Another nuclear pact with US in trouble: Russia”

-Russian nuclear pact is in danger following the US move to withdraw from a Cold War-era arms control treaty, a senior Russian diplomat said Thursday.

Last week, the United States said it was suspending its obligations under the INF Treaty starting from February 2 and would start the withdrawal process, which would be completed within six months unless Moscow remedied its alleged violations of the bilateral arms control deal.

"Yars solid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile armed with multiple warheads was test-fired from the Plesetsk state testing spaceport", the Russian Defense Minister said, announcing the Wednesday morning test, Russia's Tass news agency reported.

"We ended the cold war once because the public cared about it. the hope is that we'll do it again", says Jon Wolfsthal, a nuclear weapons expert who worked on non-proliferation issues in the Obama administration.

Negotiations must be wrapped up by the end of the year, before the US enters a new campaign period for the 2020 elections, said Ryabkov, who expressed alarm at what he described as assurances by USA officials that there's still plenty of time to resolve the issue. "It is a relatively simple treaty to extend, so we have time with that". "We strongly denied unfounded and non-specific allegations about our violations of the INF Treaty".

To that end, the Russian Defense Ministry asked the US military to destroy ground-based universal Mk-41 launchers capable of firing Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Ryabkov also said Russian Federation stands ready for talks on a possible successor to the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty.

The Defense Ministry said that it had seen the official notification from the State Department on the withdrawal from the treaty and has invited the USA military attache to officially present it. "We also notified the USA that Russian Federation would suspend its obligations under the Treaty until the United States returned to compliance or the Treaty terminated", Ryabkov pointed out.

"It throws us many decades back to the ideology of nuclear battlefield weapons", he said.



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