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U.S. Withdrawal from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty Effective on Aug. 2

July 31, 2019(EIRNS)—Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Britain’s Sky News in a July 30 interview that Moscow will not be taking any steps concerning the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty to accommodate U.S. demands to destroy the 9M729 cruise missile, which allegedly violates the treaty, before the U.S. withdrawal from the treaty takes effect on Aug. 2. Ryabkov also said that there’s not enough trust between Russia and NATO such that Russia will trust pledges to not deploy INF-range missiles in Europe made by the alliance or any of its members. “The more NATO says it has no intentions, plans, the less we believe so,” he said.

The Russians are also expecting the U.S. to withdraw its signature from the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty (the U.S. signed but never ratified the treaty) as well. “The attempts by American colleagues to substantiate their refusal to ratify it [the CTBT] by unfounded claims to Russia over the Treaty’s fulfillment cause sincere bewilderment,” Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva and other international organizations Andrey Belousov told a plenary session of the Disarmament Conference in Geneva yesterday. Belousov was referring to the accusation made by Maj. Gen. Robert Ashley, the director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, made on May 29 that Russia was carrying out nuclear weapons testing in violation of the treaty.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying explicitly rejected adding China to the INF Treaty or negotiating a new one that includes China and other nuclear-armed states. “China is concerned about and opposed to the possible annulment of this treaty due to the U.S. unilateral withdrawal from the treaty,” she said during her regular press briefing yesterday. “We hope the U.S. and Russia can resolve differences through dialogue and make efforts to preserve the treaty.” Expanding the treaty, she said, will bring a host of complex issues covering political, military, legal, and other areas which China will not agree to. As for disarmament in general, she said, the U.S., which is the largest nuclear state, “should create favorable conditions for other countries to participate in nuclear disarmament negotiations instead of shifting blames to others.”

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