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Mogherini: INF Shortcomings 'No Reason' for Dismantling Landmark Agreement

© AFP 2023 / Thierry Charlier EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini speaks to the press
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini speaks to the press - Sputnik International
BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - Shortcomings of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty are not a reason to dismantle it, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said, stressing that the only way forward was to enforce the existing disarmament agreements.

"We all know that the post-Cold War security architecture is far from perfect and most international agreements are also far from perfect, like everything in life, like any human thing. But this is no reason to move backwards and dismantle what we have achieved so far. The INF Treaty, for instance, is one of the key agreements which ended the Cold War, contributed to making our continent Europe more secure," Mogherini said at the EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Conference on Tuesday, as quoted by her press service.

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She added that "the only way forward on all non-proliferation and disarmament issues is to enforce the existing agreements" and expand the security architecture "with more controls and rules."

Mogherini added that the US concerns over Russia’s compliance with the treaty should be addressed "in a very substantive and transparent way — not by words but by deeds."

"We do not need a new arms race in Europe, some of us still remember the one in the early 1980s. So let us try to turn this current crisis that we would not like to see develop in a negative manner into an opportunity – and not to dismantle but to strengthen the [INF] Treaty and to move forward on the path towards disarmament," she added.

READ MORE: US Confirms Its Commitment to Withdrawing From INF Treaty — Russian FM

In early December, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would suspend its adherence to the INF Treaty within 60 days unless Russia returned to full compliance with the agreement.

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In recent years, Moscow and Washington have regularly accused each other of violating the INF Treaty. Russia has repeatedly stated that it strictly complies with its obligations under the contract. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has noted that Moscow has very serious questions regarding the implementation of the treaty by the United States

Moscow, meanwhile, has repeatedly refuted US allegations that Russia has violated the 1987 INF treaty, which bans ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (311 to 3,417 miles). In turn, Moscow has complained that launchers on US defense systems in Europe can fire cruise missiles at ranges that violate the INF’s terms.

READ MORE: Russia Will be Bound by No Obligations If US Quits INF Treaty — Moscow

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