US NSA meets Russian Security Council amid n-treaty tensions

World News

Moscow, Oct 22  US National Security Adviser John Bolton met Russia’s Security Council on Monday for the first round of talks to address the deteriorating bilateral relations between both nuclear powers after Washington said it intended to withdraw from the landmark nuclear arms control treaty.

Bolton was on a two-day visit to meet Russian authorities after US President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that Moscow had violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty and Washington planned to withdraw as a result.

Russia has dismissed Trump’s claims.

The nuclear disarmament treaty was signed on December 8, 1987 by then US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachov.

Bolton met his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev here prior to a meeting on Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Efe news reported.

The top US official also had plans to meet Yury Ushakov, an adviser to Putin and with Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Ushakov said that the talks would examine the current state of bilateral relations, according to Russia, were “in a terrible state”.

The treaty banned both nuclear powers from owning, producing or deploying medium-range nuclear weapons including cruise missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 km.

Prior to Bolton’s arrival, Russian Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Kremlin expected that the US NSA will provide an explanation for Trump’s move.

“The breaking of the INF Treaty’s provisions forces Russia to take measures on ensuring its own security,” he said, noting that in the future Washington could start directly developing the systems banned under the treaty.

“If this system is developed, steps from other countries, and in this case of Russia, on restoring balance in this sphere are needed,” he said. The Russian President has stated this many times, Peskov said.

The Kremlin spokesman stressed that the US was in violation of the treaty, while Russia remained committed to the document.

Moscow expected Bolton to “clarify the issue concisely and in a professional manner”, said Deputy Minister Serguéi Riabkov. – IANS

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