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    US Congress Russia Sanctions Bill Threatens Strategic Stability - Moscow

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    Russian Foreign Ministry considers the bill of the US Congress bill on the military containment and the need to devise a sanctions plan against Russia as the danger for strategic stability, according to official.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The US Congress bill on the military containment and the need to devise a sanctions plan against Russia undermines strategic stability, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry nonproliferation department official told Sputnik.

    "The danger as we see here, is primarily in increasing tensions and undermined strategic stability," Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control (DNAC) Deputy Director Vladimir Leontiev said.

    Threatening US actions in relation to compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) compliance will elicit retaliatory steps from Russia and increase the risk of conflicts, according to Vladimir Leontiev.

    "When one side demonstratively undertakes threatening actions and at the same time does not consider the other party's security interests, this naturally causes certain reciprocal steps," Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control (DNAC) Deputy Director Vladimir Leontiev said.

    He added: "This means that the risk of conflicts, even if unintended, increases."

    Vladimir Leontiev said that time is ripe for and Russia would welcome strategic stability dialogue with the United States.

    "We would welcome such a conversation, because the need for it is clearly evident. But of course, I cannot yet say what will happen in practice," he said.

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    Earlier in the day, US Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Counterproliferation Christopher Ford told Sputnik that Moscow and Washington agreed to "move ahead" toward engaging on strategic stability "soon."

    Senior Russian Foreign Ministry nonproliferation department official stated that Russia does not rule out the possibility of the United States unilaterally exiting the INF Treaty.

    "The probability can be calculated in relation to rational actions. But when it comes to dealing with hysteria heavily mixed with anti-Russian paranoia, then behavior becomes unpredictable. So, of course, nothing can be ruled out," Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control (DNAC) Deputy Director said.

    Leontiev spoke nearly a week after a group of 23 US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee introduced a bill to develop a national policy to deter Russia and impose sanctions in response to its alleged non-compliance with the INF Treaty.

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    Russian Foreign Ministry, US Congress, Vladimir Leontiev, United States, Russia
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