This week Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill to suspend Russia’s participation in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which caused a lot of criticism from both Europe and the US. Previously the US accused Russia of violating the treaty and formally suspended its participation in it.
Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov commented on the matter in an interview with Sputnik Friday. Antonov said that Washington is not seen to be ready for a constructive discussion over the INF Treaty. “Our counterparts refuse to substantially discuss Russia’s concerns on the US way to observe this agreement,” he said. He also claimed that the US “launched a powerful propaganda campaign, criticizing Russia’s actions allegedly aimed at building and deploying a missile with characteristics beyond the treaty.”
Antonov also claimed that Russia is willing to discuss the matter with the US and noted that “the fate” of the treaty is now in the hands of the US.
“We are ready to return to constructive dialogue with the United States. But we will not run after it. Our offers are on the negotiating table. The INF treaty’s fate is in the hands of the United States. Of course, we are sorry that this very important accord on the elimination of the two types of missiles would fade into oblivion and the world will face the beginning of an arms race in the area of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles”, he said.
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website