Putin: Russia is ready to discuss arms control with U.S.

Putin: Russia is ready to discuss arms control with U.S.

PanARMENIAN.Net - President Vladimir Putin said Russia is ready to restart discussions with the U.S. over arms control and denied that the collapse of a significant nuclear missile treaty between the two nations would prompt an arms race, CNBC reports.

Putin said Thursday there had “recently been signs that Washington is beginning to consider resuming bilateral dialogue on a wide-ranging strategic agenda,” despite its recent decision to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (or INF treaty) signed in 1987.

“I think that the achievement of concrete agreements in the field of arms control would contribute to strengthening international stability. Russia has the political will to work towards this. Now it’s up to the U.S.,” Putin said in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

He said he had spoken to President Donald Trump on the matter during their recent meeting on the sidelines of the Group of Twenty (G-20) summit in Japan last weekend.

Putin formally suspended Russia’s participation in the INF treaty with the U.S. on Wednesday. The treaty stated that neither country can produce, possess, or flight-test ground-launched, intermediate-range ballistic and cruise missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.

The Trump administration said in October that it planned to pull out of the treaty and confirmed its withdrawal in February, saying Russia had violated the agreement by building a new missile system. Russia denies the accusations and has in turn accused the U.S. of violating the terms.

Russia has said the U.S.′ missile defense system in eastern Europe is a violation of the agreement; the U.S. insists the system is to defend itself and Europe from “rogue states.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. has said Russia has violated the treaty with what it says is a “non-compliant missile system” called the 9M729 (or SSC-8) cruise missile system. Russia refutes this, claiming that the missile conforms to INF treaty limits. In February, Putin warned of a resolute response if the U.S. decides to station missiles in countries neighboring Russia.

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