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Russia and US fail to save missile treaty

Russia and US fail to save missile treaty

Russian Federation on Wednesday accused Washington of being uncooperative on efforts to save a crucial arms control treaty, only to be accused by the U.S. of dishonesty.

Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has denied his government is rubbing its hands with glee at Britain's turmoil over the terms of Brexit.

Moscow and Washington have been at loggerheads over the INF, which bans an entire class of weapons - all nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles of intermediate range. The Interfax news agency later carried the Foreign Ministry's statement saying that Whelan's brother isn't in the Russian capital.

Ryabkov said the parties had failed to agree on anything and Washington did not appear to be in the mood for more negotiations.

"We always said - long before the idea of Brexit took shape - that it is in our interests to have a united, strong, and most importantly independent European Union", he said.

The U.S. side said the meeting in Geneva was "disappointing".

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Last month Washington gave Russian Federation a 60-day deadline to dismantle missiles that it claims breach the INF treaty or the U.S. would begin the six-month process of formally withdrawing from the deal.

Yesterday, Ryabkov said that Russian Federation is ready for serious work with the United States at the upcoming consultations and urges Washington to give up advancing any ultimatums and preconditions. Thompson will be in Brussels on Wednesday, where she plans to brief North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies on the INF talks. Pompeo has also said the United States was not prepared to cede this advantage to a rival and noted that American concerns about Russian compliance pre-date the Trump administration.

"We are ready for dialogue on the basis of equality, mutual respect, (and) without putting forward ultimatums", Ryabkov said. "However, being a responsible and rational country, Russian Federation is not interested in a new arms race", Putin added.

Russian Federation said on Wednesday that it had caught former USA marine Paul Whelan, who is being held in Russian Federation on spying charges, red-handed as he was carrying out illegal activities in his Moscow hotel room. Ryabkov said Tuesday's talks in Geneva centred on SSC-8 system but that USA demands regarding the missile were unacceptable.

European allies are anxious about the deployment of USA missiles in Europe, as happened in the 1980s, while being caught up in nuclear competition between Moscow and Washington.