Russia: we would be open to US proposals for new nuclear pact

Russia: we would be open to US proposals for new nuclear pact

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.

Treaty on February 3, a day after the United States announced it would withdraw in six months unless Moscow ended what it says were violations of the pact. The "actively working on creating ground-based missiles with the range capability of over 500 kilometers [310 miles], which is outside the treaty-stipulated limitations".

Russia is open for a constructive dialogue with the United States if Washington revisits its destructive position on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said at a news conference on Thursday.

"As soon as our USA colleagues are ready to hand over to us something like this in practical terms, we will certainly consider this with interest and I hope in a positive way", Ryabkov said.

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On February 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow also suspended its obligations under the treaty in response to the USA move. "So far, we haven't seen anything except for a proposal to sign such a treaty in a lovely room".

However, since Romania hosts the US missile-defense system on its territory, "it can not be overlooked by the Russian defense planning", Kuzmin said in response to an RFE/RL reporter's question.

The ministry's spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the military attache at the USA embassy in Moscow was invited to the Defense Ministry and given a note urging Washington to return to strict compliance with the INF Treaty.

"I will make every possible effort to prevent it", he said. This was the treaty that helped bring about the end of the Cold War, calming fears that the USA and Russian Federation would keep developing nuclear weapons. "It appears to reflect the eagerness of those who have grown up in the age of computer games to easily push the button".

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