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    New Arms Control Treaties May Be Impossible to Negotiate Now - Ex-Russian FM

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The possibility of countries like Russia and the United States negotiating a new arms control treaty will be nearly impossible considering the current geopolitical conditions, Russian International Affairs Council President and former Russian FM Igor Ivanov said during a panel discussion on US-Russia strategic relations.

    "I think in new era, in new circumstances, it will be very difficult if not impossible to negotiate new treaties," Ivanov said at the Carnegie Endowment for International peace on Tuesday.

    Ivanov explained that to create the possibility for a new arms control treaty it would be necessary to develop new kinds of agreements different from traditional accords.

    READ MORE: Sen. Rand Paul: US Exit From INF Treaty to Undo Decades of Arms Control Efforts

    At present, relations are marked by a lack of mutual trust between the United States and Russia, and moreover, Washington may also find it difficult to negotiating an arms control treaty with other countries like China after deciding unilaterally to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Ivanov said.

    The INF Treaty could have been saved because it had mechanisms to address issues disputed among the involved parties of the accord, Ivanov added.

    The United States has been claiming that the range of Russia's 9M729 missile violates the treaty's limits, but Moscow has denied the allegations, stressing that they were unsubstantiated. Russia, in turn, has complained that US defense systems in Europe were equipped with launchers capable of firing cruise missiles at ranges prohibited under the INF Treaty.    

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

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

    Russia has also suspended its participation in the INF 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, emphasized 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).    

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    Follow the Money: What's Behind Claims Russia Violated Key Arms Control Treaty
    Tags:
    Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), treaty, statement, arms control, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Igor Ivanov, United States, Russia
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