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UN chief hopes for solution to Russia-U.S. rift over nuke treaty

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday expressed the hope that Russia and the United States will solve disagreements over Washington's announced plans to withdraw from an intermediate-range nuclear missile treaty.

"The secretary-general is aware of the United States comments regarding the INF (Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty and he still hopes that the two countries will engage to solve the disagreements," said Farhan Haq, deputy UN spokesman.

While the UN chief's remarks were brief Monday, Haq recalled that "in a speech at the University of Geneva this past May the secretary-general appealed to the Russian Federation and the United States to solve their dispute over the INF Treaty."

At that time Guterres also called for expansion of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) on strategic offensive arms, which is due to expire in just three years, and take new steps to reduce nuclear stockpiles.

Over the past weekend, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he was going to pull out of the INF pact, signed in 1987 by then U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, which bans the two countries from possessing, producing and test-firing missiles with a range of 500-55,00 km.

The Trump announcement prompted Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to say that such a move "would be a very dangerous step."

The state news agency Tass said he also warned it would "cause the most serious condemnation from all members of the international community who are committed to security and stability."


 



 
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