10:58 GMT +314 October 2019
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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens to Greek President during a meeting in Athens on January 11, 2019

    Germany’s Merkel Vows to Continue INF Nuclear Arms Talks

    © AFP 2019 / Louisa GOULIAMAKI
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stated she would continue talks to preserve the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) between Moscow and Washington.

    "We have discussed this [INF] in the past weeks, including within NATO… We will do everything within this 180-day timeframe … to continue negotiations", Merkel told reporters in Berlin.

    The Cold War-era treaty has been at the centre of Europe’s security. Washington said it was suspending participation in the deal and would pull out in 180 days if Russia fails to meet its demands, while the latter denied committing any breaches.

    US President Donald Trump said last year he wanted the treaty to be extended to China, which has become a military power to be reckoned with since the INF was signed in 1987.

    Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee at Russia’s upper house of parliament, accused the United States of having taken the decision to quit long ago.

    READ MORE: US Has Full NATO Support on INF Withdrawal — Trump

    The Treaty Between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, commonly referred to as the INF, was signed on December 8, 1987, in Washington by then-General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and then US President Ronald Reagan. The treaty entered into force on June 1, 1988.

    Under the treaty, the sides pledged not to manufacture, test or deploy medium-range (1,000-5,500 kilometres, or 620-3,420 miles) and shorter-range (500-1,000 kilometres) ballistic missiles and ground-launched cruise missiles. They also pledged to destroy all launchers and ground-based missiles with a range of 500-5,500 kilometres.

    Related:

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    New INF Deal Unlikely With Trump in Office, But Worth a Try - Ex-US Diplomat
    Moscow: No Evidence of INF Violations as US Suspends Obligations Under Treaty
    US Secretary of State Holds Briefing Ahead of Possible Exit From INF Treaty
    Tags:
    negotiations, Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), NATO, Angela Merkel, Donald Trump, Germany, United States
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