Moscow, Riga Working To Stop Deployment Of INF-Banned Missiles To Europe - Ambassador

Moscow, Riga Working to Stop Deployment of INF-Banned Missiles to Europe - Ambassador

Moscow will continue cooperating with Riga on introducing a moratorium on deploying missiles banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty to Europe, Russian Ambassador to Latvia Evgeny Lukyanov said on Friday in an interview with Sputnik

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th February, 2020) Moscow will continue cooperating with Riga on introducing a moratorium on deploying missiles banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty to Europe, Russian Ambassador to Latvia Evgeny Lukyanov said on Friday in an interview with Sputnik.

The proposal was initiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and sent to the leaders of several countries, including NATO member states. NATO confirmed that it had received the letter but said it did not consider the proposal "credible."

"Russia will continue to work toward the realization of this idea because the alternative would be a sharp deterioration of the security situation in Europe and, possibly, in other regions. We are working and will continue to work with Latvian partners on the matter," Lukyanov said.

The ambassador added that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov had already slammed NATO's reaction last year to Russia's proposal as disappointing.

The INF Treaty, which was signed in 1987 and considered to be one of the key documents that kept a nuclear arms race at bay, was terminated last August, after the United States formally suspended its obligations under the treaty six months earlier. While still in place, both Russia and the United States had repeatedly accused each other of violating the accord, which banned any ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (310-3,417 miles).

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