France Takes Note of Putin's Proposals on INF, Expects Further Details, Ministry Says

CC0 / / Ambassador Eileen Malloy Witnesses the Elimination of the Last Soviet Short-Range Missiles Under the INF Treaty.
Ambassador Eileen Malloy Witnesses the Elimination of the Last Soviet Short-Range Missiles Under the INF Treaty. - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - France has taken on board proposals made by Russian President Vladimir Putin to de-escalate tensions in Europe after the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), and expects more data on the matter from Moscow, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday.

"In this regard, we take note of the proposal on this crucial issue that Russia mentioned, about which we should continue to have in-depth discussions. We continue to expect detailed information on this proposal from the Russian side", the foreign office said.

The ministry also urged the US and Russia to agree upon extending the NewSTART (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) after February 2021.

Earlier this week, the Kremlin confirmed again that Russia is determined to end the use of intermediate and short-range missiles provided there are no US missiles of the same kind in the wake of new threats to European security. Putin also said that Russia is ready to continue to refrain from using 9M729 missiles in European Russia, given NATO adopts reciprocal measures.

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The 1987 INF Treaty between the US and Russia (at that time the Soviet Union) obliged both sides to jettison all nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometres (310 to 3,417 miles) to ensure nuclear safety in Europe. 

In 2019, US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the INF agreement despite repeated calls from Moscow and the rest of the world, including France, to renegotiate the matter.

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