17:01 GMT +321 November 2019
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    John F. Tefft, the United States Ambassador to the Russian Federation, at a reception on the occasion of the US Independence Day at the US Ambassador's residence in Moscow

    US Remains Fully Committed to Upholding INF Treaty - Ambassador to Russia

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    US Ambassador to Russia said that United States remains fully committed to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) The United States remains fully committed to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft said Tuesday.

    "We think that the INF Treaty remains a key to international stability. We continue our commitment to the INF Treaty and take very seriously our obligations under the treaty as well as in terms of arms control overall," Tefft wrote on the embassy's Facebook page during an online chat.

    Moscow and Washington have repeatedly accused each other of violating the bilateral agreement, which was concluded between Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan in 1987.

    In March, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow was in full compliance with the INF Treaty despite US claims that Russia had deployed nuclear cruise missiles in violation of the treaty. The minister said no evidence was ever provided for US claims. The Kremlin had also reaffirmed Russia's commitment to the treaty and stressed that Russia always respected international agreements rather than solely in cases deemed convenient to abide by them.

    In turn, Russian fears of US violations of the treaty were stoked when Washington activated its Aegis ashore ballistic missile defense system (BMDS) in Romania last year. The system is equipped with the Mk-41 launcher and Moscow considers the Mk-41 to be capable of launching Tomahawk long-range cruise missiles.

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    INF treaty, John Tefft, United States, Russia
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