09:03 GMT22 June 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Russia and the United States have the opportunity to maintain the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) regime even if the treaty is ended, Director of the Institute for US and Canada Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Sergey Rogov told Sputnik on Monday.

    "Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia will maintain a moratorium on the deployment [of these weapons] in Europe and other regions until the United States deploys", Rogov said. "If the US will join Russia in non-deployment, then we could have major elements of the regime preserved".

    The Russian political scientist expressed cautious optimism on the prospects for such a development. "Theoretically, it is real. Practically, it is possible if the US administration agrees with that", Rogov said on the sidelines of the 2019 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference in Washington, DC.

    Meanwhile, the United States will begin production on parts for ground-launched cruise missile systems, the Pentagon said Monday. However, the Pentagon said the efforts would be conventional and not nuclear, Reuters reported Monday.

    READ MORE: INF Treaty's Collapse Unlikely to Result in Russia, US Deploying New Missiles

    On 2 February, the United States formally suspended its obligations under the INF Treaty and triggered the six-month withdrawal process. Washington has said it would terminate this procedure if Russia agreed to remain compliant with the pact.

    Moscow has also suspended its participation in the treaty, with Russian President Vladimir Putin having instructed the country's authorities not to initiate any new talks with Washington on the matter. Putin has, however, stressed that all of Russia's earlier proposals remained on the table.

    The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by then-leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and then-US President Ronald Reagan. The leaders agreed to destroy all cruise or ground-launched ballistic missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (310 and 3,400 miles).

    READ MORE: US Lawmaker Urges Congress to Pass Bill Stopping Trump From Leaving INF Treaty

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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