Friday, December 8, 2017

US Press Russia to Obey Nuclear Missile Treaty

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States acknowledged it is preparing a move to pressure Russia to comply with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987. One such move includes developing a new medium-range cruise missile system in response to Moscow's violations of the Nuclear Missile Treaty.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) during a meeting with US President Donald Trump in Germany last July. Photo / REUTERS

In response to the US State Department, Russia has committed continuous violations of the Cold War-era pact prohibiting the development of new medium-range missiles.

"Washington is prepared to stop such research and development if Russia again complies with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987," State Department spokesman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Nauert also signaled the possibility of imposing economic sanctions. "The United States is pursuing economic and military measures aimed at encouraging the Russian Federation to re-comply (the agreement)," Nauert continued, as quoted by Reuters on Saturday (9/12/2017).

The United States accuses Russia of deploying ground-based cruise missiles that violate the ban on a missile test pact with a distance of 500-5,500 km (310-3.417 miles).

Washington officials say Russia's cruise missiles are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, and Moscow refuses to hold in-depth discussions about the alleged offense.

However, Russia has denied breaking the deal. In a statement, Russia's Foreign Ministry said it was ready to hold talks with the United States to try to defend the treaty and would comply with its obligations if the United States did so.

In a statement commemorating the 30-year agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union, the ministry said Moscow considers "ultimatum language" and sanctions from Washington unacceptable.