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Russia, America and a new nuclear arms race

09 February 2019

Russian Federation has successfully test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile armed with multiple warheads less than a week after President Donald Trump's administration announced that the United States would withdraw from a Cold War-era nuclear treaty with the country.

Russian Federation expects the USA to unveil its official proposals on the possibility of renewing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump said last week he would like to hold talks aimed at creating a new arms control 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 USA missiles to the Baltic States.

On February 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow also suspended its obligations under the treaty in response to the U.S. move.

"Perhaps we can negotiate a different agreement, adding China and others, or perhaps we can't-in which case, we will outspend and out-innovate all others by far", Trump said during his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening. "It is a relatively simple treaty to extend, so we have time with that".

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. He noted that the USA said it has converted 56 Trident submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles and 41 B-52H strategic bombers that carried nuclear weapons for use with conventional weapons, but stonewalled Russia's repeated requests for a verifiable way to exclude their conversion back to nuclear status.

"I will make every possible effort to prevent it", he said. "If the U.S.is interested, it should spell out its proposal". This was the treaty that helped bring about the end of the Cold War, calming fears that the US and Russian Federation would keep developing nuclear weapons. "We also notified the U.S. that Russian Federation would suspend its obligations under the Treaty until the United States returned to compliance or the Treaty terminated", Ryabkov pointed out.

The Russian Foreign Ministry sent a notification of Moscow's suspension of the INF Treaty to the U.S. embassy on February 4, he said. "There are just a couple of steps left. before the revival of nuclear artillery, nuclear mortars, nuclear mines, nuclear grenades and other things like that".

Russia, America and a new nuclear arms race