Russian official: Another nuclear pact with USA in trouble

Nuclear Pact

Russia to prevent deployment of US missiles to Baltic States

Russian Federation says the United States should destroy its MK-41 missile-defense launch system deployed in NATO-member Romania in order to return to compliance with a landmark Cold War-era nuclear treaty.

The United States could begin research and development on weapons previously barred by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, according to multiple U.S. officials - a move likely to play into concerns about a new nuclear arms race.

Ryabkov said that the USA has shown "no readiness or desire" to engage in substantive talks on extending the pact, which limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers. Moscow denies violating the treaty.

Russia's state-owned TASS news agency quoted a Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on 7 February as saying that Russian diplomats and military will do everything possible to prevent the deployment of U.S. missiles to the Baltic States.

"In the worst-case scenario, they may carry 1,286 nuclear warheads", he said, meaning that the USA could almost double the number of deployed warheads allowed by the New Start treaty.

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At the end of last week, Washington announced that it would withdraw from the decades' old pact, which was signed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, who was the leader of the now-defunct Soviet Union. "However, if the USA revisits its destructive course and returns to commitment to the INF Treaty, Russia is open for a meaningful dialogue".

"I will make every possible effort to prevent it", he said.

The United States has repeatedly accused Russian Federation of violating the INF - something Russian Federation has repeatedly denied.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, accompanied by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, using binoculars as he inspects the joint Zapad-2017 (West-2017) Russian military exercises with Belarus at the Luzhsky training ground in the Leningrad region on September 18, 2017.

"We have until 2021", Thompson said. Russian Federation has successfully test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile armed with multiple warheads, after the USA withdrew from the INF Treaty.

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