BRUSSELS, December 6. /TASS/. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) is key to European and global security, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said at a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, held on the sidelines of the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Italy’s Milan.
According to the EU diplomatic service, the two top diplomats “discussed the future of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and the High Representative stressed that the Treaty is key to European and global security and that it is in all our interests that the Treaty is preserved and fully implemented.”
Mogherini and Lavrov also exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine, the consequences of the Kerch Strait incident, the Syria issue and the situation surrounding the Iran nuclear deal.
The INF Treaty, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987, took effect on June 1, 1988. It applies to deployed and non-deployed ground-based missiles of intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers). In the recent years, Washington has been repeatedly accusing Russia of violating the treaty. Moscow strongly dismissed the accusations and voiced its own claims concerning Washington’s non-compliance.
On October 20, US President Donald Trump said that Washington would pull out of the INF Treaty because Russia had allegedly violated it. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said it was a dangerous move. Berlin and Beijing criticized Washington, while London voiced its support for the US, and NATO laid the blame for Trump’s decision on Russia.
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on December 4 that Washington would suspend its obligations under the Treaty unless Moscow returned to “full and verifiable” compliance within 60 days.
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