WASHINGTON, December 12 (Sputnik) – Sanctions in place against Russia could be leveraged to enforce the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which Russia has been accused of violating, an expert from the Arms Control Association (ACA) told Sputnik on Thursday.
The ACA Director for Disarmament and Threat Reduction Policy Kingston Reif said the United States and Europe could seek Russia’s compliance with the INF treaty by easing on some of the economic sanctions that were imposed against Russia.
Earlier, the US Undersecretary of State for International Security Rose Gottenmoeller told Congress that it was in the interest of the United States to remain in the IMF treaty. Gottenmoeller also said that it was important to try to bring Russia back into compliance with the treaty.
Congressman from California John Garamendi agreed with Gottenmoeller: "There's a strong argument not to withdraw [from the INF treaty], and that argument has validity. We've got to think rethink this."
In July, the United States announced Russia was in violation of the INF treaty by testing a prohibited ground-launched cruise missile.
Russian authorities in return expressed their own complaints about US compliance with the treaty in light of Washington's plans to deploy Mark 41 vertical launching systems in Poland and Romania.
Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated following Crimea's reunification with Russia in March and Kiev's launch of a military operation against independence supporters in eastern Ukraine in April.
The United States and a number of its allies have imposed sanctions against Russia, targeting its defense, banking and energy sectors, as well as certain individuals, over Moscow's alleged interference in Ukrainian internal affairs. Russia has repeatedly denied the accusations.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.