Russia slams NATO over remark on nuclear treaty

Russia slams NATO over remark on nuclear treaty

Fri Aug 1, 2014 7:46AM GMT

Russia slams NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen for interfering in a Moscow-Washington dispute over a nuclear treaty.

The move came after Rasmussen on Wednesday called on Russia to resolve the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty by returning to full compliance. He said Washington had briefed NATO countries that Russia was in violation of its obligations under the treaty.

In a statement on Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry “not without a bit of surprise” questioned why Rasmussen was commenting on a treaty NATO was not a signatory to.

“We hope that Secretary-General is not going to dispute the fact that this Treaty was signed in December 1987 between the USSR [the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics] and the US, not between the USSR and NATO or Russia and NATO,” it said.

Referring to the US, the ministry added that if NATO’s chief is concerned with meeting the commitments that the treaty implies, he had better “address a NATO member state that signed this treaty.”

The INF accord, signed by US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, obliged the two sides not to possess, produce, or flight-test ground-launched cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.

A US administration official on July 28 said US President Barack Obama has sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin claiming that Moscow was not abiding by the terms of the treaty. Russia dismissed the accusations, saying Moscow is strictly implementing the INF treaty with Washington.

The new confrontation comes at a time of escalating tensions between the US and Russia over the crisis in Ukraine. Moscow has also granted asylum to former US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden.

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