U.S. says Russia violated nuclear treaty, urges immediate talks

WASHINGTON Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:51am BST

Russia's President Vladimir Putin waves as he leaves the Itamaraty Palce after the 6th BRICS summit and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), in Brasilia July 16, 2014. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Russia's President Vladimir Putin waves as he leaves the Itamaraty Palce after the 6th BRICS summit and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), in Brasilia July 16, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In another sign of deteriorating relations between the United States and Russia, the U.S. government said on Monday that Moscow had violated the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty, and urged immediate bilateral talks on the issue.

The Cold War treaty, ratified in 1988, was designed to eliminate ground-launched cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 km (310 to 3,400 miles).

"This is a very serious matter which we have attempted to address with Russia for some time now," an administration official said in a statement.

"We encourage Russia to return to compliance with its obligations under the treaty and to eliminate any prohibited items in a verifiable manner," the official said.

The official did not describe how Russia violated the treaty. But the New York Times had reported in January that Washington informed its NATO partners that Russia had tested a ground-launched cruise missile.

State Department officials had hinted that a formal determination that Russia had violated the treaty could be forthcoming, said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, a Washington-based research and advocacy group.

He said the violation would not represent a new military threat to the United States and its European allies, given Russia's existing missile arsenal.

But in an interview, Kimball called the infraction "disturbing."

"It suggests that Russia is moving away from a long U.S.-Russia tradition of restraining the most dangerous weapons even as they have serious disagreements on all sorts of issues," he said.

The United States notified Russia of its determination and called for senior-level talks "with the aim of assuring the United States that Russia will come back into compliance" with the treaty.

"The United States will, of course, consult with allies on this matter to take into account the impact of this Russian violation on our collective security if Russia does not return to compliance," the official said.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Comments (2)
bobjimflys wrote:
With the dimishing foot print of the USA in the world, and the continual backing down at every possible conflict. Why would any country expect the USA to honor anything? We were obligated to protect the Ukraine, but no we just skipped a rock across the pond. We should have helped Iraq, but again we just skipped a rock across the pond. We should have never started the Kill Moammar zone, but we just skipped a rock across the pond. Every Country in the World now knows the USA is not a good Friend for Protection. Every adversary in the World now knows the USA is at the Weakest point in over 50 years. Remember the change that was coming? It has come, and the USA is in much more trouble than anytime since WWII. We have a Spineless Leader that is Hubris and Narcissisic and every Nation in the World knows it. I am worried, but I will never ever quit protecting this country, the last Bastion of the World with Freedom.

Jul 28, 2014 5:52am BST  --  Report as abuse
2904 wrote:
Russia : gangster regime.

Jul 29, 2014 12:58pm BST  --  Report as abuse
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