VIENNA, September 26 (RIA Novosti) – The United States will be working on preserving cooperation in nonproliferation and arms control with Russia even though new challenges have emerged, Tom Countryman, US Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation has said.
“We seek to preserve cooperation in nonproliferation and arms control between the United States and Russia. Traditionally we have been able to do that despite all peaks and valleys in the relationship between Moscow and Washington. It is more difficult this year,” the official said on the sidelines of the IAEA's 58th General Conference in Vienna.
According to Countryman, “It becomes more difficult when Russia displays repeatedly defiance of both bilateral and multilateral treaties that it has signed.”
“Those kind of treaties are the lifeblood of disarmament and nonproliferation, and the casual way, with which Moscow treats compliance not only with the IMF treaty, but with the UN Charger, the OSCE Final Act – all of them degrade the value of Russia’s commitments on specific issues such as disarmament and non-proliferation. It is a challenge that we are working through, and more specifically that we are working through during this conference,” the diplomat added.
Over the past few months, Moscow and Washington have been accusing each other of breaching the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The 1987 treaty eliminated nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate ranges, defined as between 300-3,400 miles.