Russia, U.S. to discuss INF Treaty concerns in Moscow on Sept 11

Russia and the United States will hold consultations regarding the Treaty on the Elimination of their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty) in Moscow on September 11.

Russia and the United States will hold consultations regarding the Treaty on the Elimination of their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty) in Moscow on September 11.

"Russian-U.S. consultations regarding the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty will be held in Moscow on Thursday," Russian Foreign Ministry Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department Director Mikhail Ulyanov, who is expected to head the Russian delegation in the upcoming consultations, told Interfax.

"We presume this is an important treaty and it should be duly implemented. Yet we have a number of serious old and new claims, questions and concerns about the U.S. policy and we will raise these questions. We will ask the Americans for explanations," he said.

Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller is expected to head the U.S. delegation.

The United States had accused Russia of violating the 1987 INF Treaty. The U.S. President Barack Obama's Administration said they had informed Russia of the accusations and were prepared to negotiate. The White House said it would hold consultations with the allies unless Moscow honored the treaty.

The United States claimed Russia had been testing a new surface-to-surface cruise missile since 2008. A special message from Obama to Russian President Vladimir Putin said the parameters of Russia's new cruise missile breached the provisions of the INF Treaty.

Obama expressed his interest in high-level negotiations in his letter to Putin and said the purpose of the dialogue was to preserve the INF Treaty and to discuss steps the Kremlin should take in that area.

Russia is considering a possible secession from the INF Treaty in retaliation against the expansion of the U.S. missile defense network. Putin said already in 2000 the unilateral repeal of the treaty was possible after the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty.

The Russian Foreign Ministry stated in early August, "The unsatisfactory fulfilment of the INF Treaty is a source of profound concern against the backdrop of Washington's systematic and methodical disruption of the global strategic stability system."

"The Americans started that process in 2001 with their unilateral secession from the ABM Treaty. The situation is deteriorating with the accelerated and unlimited expansion of the U.S. global missile defense system, the unwillingness to remove U.S. tactical nuclear arsenals from the territories of other countries, the elaboration of the provocative strategy of Prompt Global Strike (PGS), and the excessive stockpiling of conventional weapons, including their offensive element," the ministry said.

U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed the INF Treaty in 1987. The sides committed to not produce, test or deploy ground-based ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of operation of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.

The treaty was executed by June 1991 after the Soviet Union had scrapped 1,846 missile systems and the United States had scrapped 846. The Soviet Union decommissioned OTR-22 Temp-S, RSD-10 Pioner, R-12 and R-14 missiles. The United States also insisted on the liquidation of OTR-23 Oka missiles, although their range (50-400 kilometers) was not subject to the INF Treaty limitations. In turn, the United States disposed of Pershing-1A, Pershing-2 and BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles.

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