Russia says it's open to U.S. proposals for new nuclear pact
Updated 21:44, 07-Feb-2019
CGTN
00:43

Russia is prepared to consider new proposals from the United States to replace a suspended Cold War-era nuclear pact with a broader treaty that includes more countries, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday.

President Vladimir Putin said at the weekend that Russia has suspended the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty after Washington announced it would withdraw in six months unless Moscow ends what it says are violations of the 1987 pact.

The agreement bans ground-launched missiles with a range of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.

U.S. President Donald Trump said last week he would like to hold talks aimed at creating a new arms control treaty. 

"We of course saw the reference in president Trump's statement to the possibility of a new treaty that could be signed in a beautiful room and that this treaty should also include other countries as its participants," Ryabkov said.

"We look forward to this proposal being made concrete and put on paper or by other means..." Ryabkov said at a news conference in Moscow.

Ryabkov said the United States had not sent Moscow any concrete proposals for a new pact.

The U.S. has repeatedly accused Russia of violating the INF treaty, saying that their 9M729 (also known as SSC-8) missiles' range has violated provisions of the treaty

Journalists and military ‍attaches attend a news briefing in Moscow, organized to display Russia's 9M729 missile system, January 23, 2019. /VCG Photo

Journalists and military ‍attaches attend a news briefing in Moscow, organized to display Russia's 9M729 missile system, January 23, 2019. /VCG Photo

On January 23, in an unprecedented attempt to show Russia's compliance with the treaty, the country's artillery chief Mikhail Matveevsky displayed pictures showing the structural layout of the 9M729 in a news briefing, stressing its maximum range is 480 kilometers (300 miles).

However, no representatives from the U.S. attended the briefing.

China voiced its opposition to the U.S. announcement of withdrawing the INF treaty last Saturday.

"China regrets such a decision," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said in a statement. 

In the statement, China also called for constructive dialogue from both Russia and the U.S. to resolve differences.

The latest development over the INF treaty has incurred worries that a new round of arms race may be triggered, but some analysts believe that it will not begin immediately after the treaty is legally declared null and void.

Read more: 

Four scenarios in coming six months after INF crisis

(With input from Reuters)