14:57 GMT +318 August 2019
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    People gesture at a US military vehicle in Amuda province, northern Syria

    Russian Deputy FM Explains Why Moscow Doubts Full US Withdrawal From Syria

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    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Wednesday it was hard to believe that the United States would pull out of Syria completely under the current circumstances, given the strong position of those who support the continued US military presence in the Arab Republic.

    "I believe the positions of those who want to maintain US military presence in Syria — illegal, breaching the international law — are quite strong in Washington… I cannot imagine that the United States will fully and indisputably leave Syria in terms of physical military presence in the current situation where Washington is locked in unstoppable contest for world domination and driven to be present everywhere and resolve issues only on its own conditions," the diplomat told reporters.

    READ MORE: Pullout of US Troops From Syria Should Be ‘Catalyst for Peace' — Iraqi President

    The contacts on Syria between Russia and the United States do not stop even if they are not always announced, there are no long pauses in the talks, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Wednesday.

    "The contacts on various aspects of the situation in Syria do not stop… These contacts are not always announced; if the information on them becomes widely available, they attract additional attention. But the contacts are ongoing on various issues. There will be contacts on other topics in the near future… The breaks in the contacts may be different, but there are no long pauses," the diplomat told reporters.

    Earlier, US President Donald Trump said that the United States would withdraw its troops from Syria because the Daesh* terrorist group had been defeated in Syria.

    The US-led coalition of over 70 countries has been carrying out airstrikes in Syria on a regular basis on the pretext of assisting the SDF in its fight against the Daesh terrorist group.

    Arms Control

    Moscow would like to resume a meaningful dialogue on arms control with the United States in the near future, Sergey Ryabkov said.

    "We would like to resume a meaningful dialogue on arms control as well in the near future. We are working on it, too. Perhaps, something will come out of it, but we cannot announce any schedules or agreed events yet," Ryabkov told reporters.

    The diplomat confirmed that Russia was ready to discuss missiles with Washington.

    "We just can't avoid talking about missiles. We are urging the Americans to look at the situation thoroughly and be ready to have such a dialogue, to continue it," Ryabkov said.

    The US-Russia row over the INF Treaty has been escalating recently. The US Senate has passed a new defense policy bill accusing Russia of violating the INF Treaty. The document has authorized the Defense Department to begin developing a new conventional road-mobile ground-launched cruise missile system with a range of between 500 (310 miles) to 5,500 kilometers.

    Moscow has repeatedly refuted US allegations that it violates the 1987 INF treaty

    In early December, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States would suspend its adherence to the INF Treaty within 60 days unless Russia returned to full compliance with the agreement.

    The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 between the Soviet Union and the United States. The agreement obligated the parties to destroy their ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles whose ranges are between 500 and 5,500 kilometres (from 311 to 3,317 miles).

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    troops, INF Treaty, Sergei Ryabkov, Syria, United States
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