News

U.S says Russia violated nuclear treaty, urges immediate talks

U.S says Russia violated nuclear treaty, urges immediate talks

President Barack Obama meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, on Monday, June 17, 2013. Obama and Putin discussed the ongoing conflict in Syria during their bilateral meeting. Photo: Associated Press/Evan Vucci, File

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 issue.

The Cold War treaty, ratified in 1988, was designed to eliminate ground-launched cruise missiles with ranges of 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 statement.

“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 missile.

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 missile arsenal.

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.

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 official said.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Recent Headlines

13 hours ago in Local

Capitol Honors Fallen Police Officers

5-5-16 Officers Memorial 2

Secretary of State Jesse White says police officers should still be revered as heroes.

13 hours ago in Local

Holocaust Remembered at Old State Capitol

local_news_generic

The state's annual Yom Hashoah service brought Gov. Bruce Rauner to the Old State Capitol Thursday morning.

17 hours ago in Local

Langfelder Enlists Manar to Help Extend Downtown TIF

Flag_of_Springfield,_Illinois_svg

Mayor Jim Langfelder says he's working with state lawmakers to get legislation passed to extend by 12 years the city's downtown Tax Increment Financing District, which is otherwise set to expire soon.

17 hours ago in Local

DuQuoin State Fair Starts Vendor Payment Program

Illinois Department of Agriculture

Officials with the Du Quoin State Fair have created a new program to pay vendors who weren't compensated for their 2015 expenses.

17 hours ago in Local

Lawmakers Question Auditor General About Spending

Frank Mautino

A group of Republican lawmakers is demanding that Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino explain spending by his campaign committee while he was a state representative.