14:11 GMT +306 December 2019
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    A bundle of three Soviet RSD-10 missiles prepared for demolition at the Kapustin Yar launch site. The missiles were destroyed in accordance with the INF Treaty.

    Germany Encourages to Preserve INF Treaty, to Reduce Arms Mechanism in Europe

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    BERLIN (Sputnik) - Germany advocates the preservation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), as well as the functioning mechanism for reduction of weapons in Europe, German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Monday.

    "It was already announced at the end of the week that NATO would be intensively addressing this issue in the coming weeks. Of course, Germany will actively participate in this discussion. We advocate the preservation of this treaty and the functioning architecture of arms reduction in Europe. This is our great challenge," the foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr told a briefing.

    At the same time, the European External Action Service's spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said that the United States and Russia should keep up "constructive dialogue" on the US decision to pull out of the INF. 

    READ MORE: Unilateral US Withdrawal From INF Treaty Will Have Multilateral Impact — China

    "The treaty in question… is one of the cornerstones of the European security architecture… [The] US and Russia need to remain engaged in constructive dialogue to preserve the treaty and to ensure… its full and verifiable implementation," Kocijancic said.

    When asked if the European Commission would hold Russia responsible for the dissolution of the treaty, the spokeswoman added that the statement on the issue was being prepared and the organization expected "the Russian Federation to address the concerns regarding its compliance with this treaty in a substantial and transparent way."

    Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia would announce its stance on the treaty after the United States has provided clarifications. According to Lavrov, the official mechanism for the withdrawal has not been triggered yet.

    The statements of the international officials come following the announcement made earlier by Donald Trump that the US will withdraw from the INF treaty over the alleged violations of the agreement by Russia.

    The 1987 INF Treaty prohibits the development, deployment and testing of ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles with ranges between 300 and 3,400 miles.


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    nuclear arms, weapon, INF treaty, EU, German Foreign Ministry, Donald Trump, Maja Kocijancic, Germany, United States
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