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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the sidelines of the ASEAN in Manila

    Russian, US Experts to Be Instructed on Dialogue on Medium, Short-Range Missiles

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    50th ASEAN Forum in Manila (27)

    Russia and the United States need to establish dialogue on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), respective instructions will be given to experts of both countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Sunday.

    MANILA (Sputnik) — 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. The United States and Russia have repeatedly accused each other of violating the treaty.

    "We also talked about the need to establish professional, depoliticized, pragmatic dialogue regarding the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. It seemed to me that we found understanding with the [US] state secretary [Rex Tillerson], and instructions will be given to our experts," Lavrov said after his meeting with Tillerson on the sidelines of ASEAN forum in Manila.

    On Wednesday, Politico reported that the US Congress is preparing several defense bills, the provisions of which would require the Department of Defense to violate the 1987 treaty through the development of medium-range missiles banned under the accord. The Kremlin commented on the reports by saying that Moscow remains committed to its INF Treaty obligations.

    The United States announced an initiative on revising the INF Treaty for the first time in February in order to stop alleged Russian violations of the agreement. The Intermediate-Range Forces Treaty Preservation Act was proposed by Republican Senators Tom Cotton, Ron Johnson and Marco Rubio and supported by Republican members of the House of Representatives Ted Poe and Mike Rogers, who introduced the bill to the lower chamber.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly expressed concern over the use of unsupported facts by the United States as a pretext for possible restrictive measures against Russia.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has repeatedly said that the Russian leadership had reaffirmed its commitment to the INF Treaty, and that Moscow has never violated the agreement. The minister pointed out that Washington had not provided any data that can be verified, adding that Russia had serious questions concerning US compliance with the INF Treaty. 

    50th ASEAN Forum in Manila (27)
    non-proliferation, INF treaty, Rex Tillerson, Sergei Lavrov, United States, Russia
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