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    Russia Still Open for Further Talks on INF, US Has Time to Save Treaty - Envoy

    Russian Defense Ministry
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    VIENNA (Sputnik) - Russia does not reject further talks on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the United States still has time to reverse its withdrawal in order to save the agreement, Russia's Permanent Representative to International Organisations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov has told Sputnik.

    "Russia does not close the door for further negotiations, but calmly and deliberately undertakes proportionate, defence measures without threats and undue emotion… The ball is now in the court of the United States and NATO. Washington and NATO still have the time to reconsider their policy", Ulyanov said.

    According to the diplomat, the United States is seeking to eliminate the treaty.

    "If they abandon the dialogue and if the search for a negotiated solution is replaced by an ultimatum, then we must react. The approach outlined by the Russian president on 2 February is just such an adequate and dignified response to the current situation", Ulyanov added.

    The statement comes after the United States announced on 1 February that it had suspended obligations under the INF Treaty and opened the accord's six-month window to withdraw unless Russia returns to compliance within that period. 

    READ MORE: Russia to Develop Ground-Based Kalibr Missiles Amid INF Treaty Row — Minister

    Russia has denied any treaty violations and presented to the United States information that the testing of the M9729 missile was within the bounds of the INF Treaty. However, Vladimir Putin stated that the country had likewise suspended its obligations under the 1987 treaty. 

    Russian officials have noted that Washington's decision was based on the fact that other countries like China have grown their intermediate-range nuclear capabilities, but are not bound by the INF Treaty.

    The INF Treaty, signed by the United States and the Soviet Union in 1987, bans all ground-launched ballistic missiles with ranges between 310 and 3,400 miles.

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    Tags:
    ballistic missile, INF treaty, Vladimir Putin, United States, Russia
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