says Russia violated nuclear treaty, urges immediate talks
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[July 29, 2014]
By Roberta Rampton
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In another sign of
deteriorating relations between the United States and Russia, the U.S.
government said on Monday that Moscow had violated the Intermediate
Range Nuclear Forces treaty, and urged immediate bilateral talks on the
The Cold War treaty, ratified in 1988, was designed to eliminate
ground-launched cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 km (310
to 3,400 miles).
"This is a very serious matter which we have attempted to address
with Russia for some time now," an administration official said in a
"We encourage Russia to return to compliance with its obligations
under the treaty and to eliminate any prohibited items in a
verifiable manner," the official said.
The official did not describe how Russia violated the treaty. But
the New York Times had reported in January that Washington informed
its NATO partners that Russia had tested a ground-launched cruise
State Department officials had hinted that a formal determination
that Russia had violated the treaty could be forthcoming, said Daryl
Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, a
Washington-based research and advocacy group.
He said the violation would not represent a new military threat to
the United States and its European allies, given Russia's existing
But in an interview, Kimball called the infraction "disturbing."
"It suggests that Russia is moving away from a long U.S.-Russia
tradition of restraining the most dangerous weapons even as they
have serious disagreements on all sorts of issues," he said.
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The United States notified Russia of its determination and called
for senior-level talks "with the aim of assuring the United States
that Russia will come back into compliance" with the treaty. "The
United States will, of course, consult with allies on this matter to
take into account the impact of this Russian violation on our
collective security if Russia does not return to compliance," the
(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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