MOSCOW, September 21 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow does not intend to leave the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty unless its security interests are threatened, Head of the Russian President's Administration Sergei Ivanov stated Sunday.
"In essence, either of the sides can leave the treaty in exceptional circumstances. I do not yet see such exceptional circumstances. In general, we are adherers of international obligations unless we observe that our security interests are being threatened," Ivanov stated in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
The official reminded that the first round of the updated Russian-American consultations have taken place just recently.
"We will wait for more [consultations] to come," Ivanov added.
Earlier in July, Washington accused Moscow of breaching the INF Treaty in effect since 1988. It stated that Russia tested a prohibited ground-launched cruise missile thus violating the agreement.
Russia and the United States held consultations on the subject on September 11 in Moscow. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Washington failed to provide satisfactory answers to the questions addressed by the Russian side. In its turn, the US State Department stated that the United States is still concerned about Moscow's compliance with the treaty. The sides, however, agreed to continue the talks.
In 1987, the United States and the Soviet Union pledged to completely destroy their intermediate-range (1,000 - 5,500 km) and shorter-range (500 – 1,000 km) missiles and ancillary facilities.
By 1991, the agreement was implemented, with mutual inspections having been underway until 2001.
The sides' compliance with the obligations is watched by a special control commission last convened in 2003.