U.S says Russia violated nuclear treaty, urges immediate talks

U.S says Russia violated nuclear treaty, urges immediate talks

President Barack Obama meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, on Monday, June 17, 2013. Obama and Putin discussed the ongoing conflict in Syria during their bilateral meeting. Photo: Associated Press/Evan Vucci, File

By Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In another sign of deteriorating relations between the United States and Russia, the U.S. government said on Monday that Moscow had violated the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty, and urged immediate bilateral talks on the issue.

The Cold War treaty, ratified in 1988, was designed to eliminate ground-launched cruise missiles with ranges of 310 to 3,400 miles.

“This is a very serious matter which we have attempted to address with Russia for some time now,” an administration official said in a statement.

“We encourage Russia to return to compliance with its obligations under the treaty and to eliminate any prohibited items in a verifiable manner,” the official said.

The official did not describe how Russia violated the treaty. But the New York Times had reported in January that Washington informed its NATO partners that Russia had tested a ground-launched cruise missile.

State Department officials had hinted that a formal determination that Russia had violated the treaty could be forthcoming, said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, a Washington-based research and advocacy group.

He said the violation would not represent a new military threat to the United States and its European allies, given Russia’s existing missile arsenal.

But in an interview, Kimball called the infraction “disturbing.”

“It suggests that Russia is moving away from a long U.S.-Russia tradition of restraining the most dangerous weapons even as they have serious disagreements on all sorts of issues,” he said.

The United States notified Russia of its determination and called for senior-level talks “with the aim of assuring the United States that Russia will come back into compliance” with the treaty. “The United States will, of course, consult with allies on this matter to take into account the impact of this Russian violation on our collective security if Russia does not return to compliance,” the official said.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Latest Headlines

in Local

Police: 2 Men Arrested for Fatal Bangor Shooting


Police have arrested two New York men for the shooting of two people, one fatally, at an apartment house in Bangor.

in Local

Maine Police: 6 Fires Intentionally Set Along Interstate 95


Maine State Police say they are looking for a white sedan with two men inside who may be responsible for setting six fires along a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 95 southbound from Waterville to Sidney.

in Local

Methamphetamine Continues to be a Problem in Maine


Maine's heroin epidemic is getting much of the attention from law enforcement officials and policymakers, but methamphetamine continues to be a persistent problem.

in Local

Heating Costs Drop A Bit


AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) The Governor's Energy Office says the average statewide cash price for heating oil is down five cents from two weeks ago at $2 per gallon.

in Local

Maine Asking For Help Tracking Invasive, Destructive Moth


AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is asking for the public's help in locating destructive winter moth populations around the state.


  • 12h
  • 25h
  • 26h
  • 26h
  • 27h
  • 27h
  • 28h