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Russia open to disarmament dialogue with US

The Russian Ambassador to UN, Gennady Gatilov, said that Moscow believes that regardless of "recent negative developments" over disarmament, it was open for dialogue with the US to maintain the world's strategic stability.
Russia open to disarmament dialogue with US

Gatilov addressed media persons here on Friday on Moscow's future steps in non-proliferation and disarmament after the US withdrew from the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on August 2, reports Xinhua news agency.

"By doing so, it damaged strategic stability formed after the Cold War and that contributed to the creating necessary conditions for progressive, positive development of cooperation between Moscow and Washington on a wide range of international security issues," said Gatilov, a former Deputy Foreign Minister.

"The new situation has increased the risks to international stability because the INF was one of the pillars of strategic stability."

While withdrawing from the INF Treaty, Washington declared that the US-Russian bilateral nuclear disarmament era had ended.

"Russia is still keeping the door open for substantive, constructive and goal-oriented dialogue with the United States on all issues of strategic stability, based on mutual respect, and due consideration of each other's interests, as well as of those of the international community," said Gatilov.

The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 between the former Soviet Union and the US on the elimination of ground-based intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles.

The scrapping of the treaty threatens to drag the two major military powers back into a Cold-War-style arms race.

He said the US move was a "sad" one and that judging by recent statements from Washington, "it is ready to resume production, and at a later stage the deployment of missiles previously banned by the treaty".

Instead of returning to the legal framework of the INF treaty and discussing the problematic issues within the mechanism provided for by accord, Gatilov said the US launched "a propaganda campaign against Russia".

"It was done... to prepare the international public opinion to the U.S. withdrawal from the treaty under the pretext of its violation by Russia."

He was asked about the possible deployment of US missile system in Europe.

"Of course, it will create a new factor which we will have to take into account as a threat to our national security," said the Ambassador.

( With inputs from IANS )

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