Moscow will propose a moratorium on the deployment of land-based intermediate and shorter-range missiles to Europe at an upcoming summit between the Russian and U.S. presidents, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday.
He said that French President Emmanuel Macron had responded favorably to a proposal by President Vladimir Putin for a moratorium.
„Our proposal is still on the table, and we certainly will reiterate it at the Geneva summit on June 16,” Mr Lavrov said according to Tass.
Moscow does not have high expectations for the June 16 meeting between President Putin and U.S President Joe Biden, the foreign minister added.
The Russian president plans to address issues of strategic stability, including the Russian initiative to establish a moratorium on the deployment of short- and medium-range missiles in Europe (INF Treaty).
‘We do not have any illusions about the summit, that it could lead to who knows what turning points,” he said.
“There is an objective need for a high-level exchange of views on what kind of threats Russia and the United States see as the two largest nuclear powers in the international arena, “ he said at a policy conference, Agerpres.ro reported.
Russia will propose a moratorium on the deployment of short- and medium-range missiles in Europe (INF Treaty) and to verify compliance with the moratorium, which requires inspections, he said.
„Given the lack of trust on both sides, we suggest taking measures to verify this kind of a moratorium,” he added.
He said that U.S. officials would be invited to Kaliningrad “to see with your own eyes those Iskander missiles that are being talked about.”
41 vertical launch system
“We want our experts to visit the anti-missile bases in Romania and Poland.” The U.S. has a 41 vertical launch system located in the missile defense facility in Romania.
The NATO anti-ballistic missile shield at the Deveselu military base, which is under U.S. command, opened in 2016. .
NATO says the $1 billion facility has “a purely defensive nature.” But is as strained relations with Russia
The Russian foreign minister called the proposal: „a very honest offer. The Americans have ignored it so far, they don’t want to let anyone enter their missile defense bases,” he said.
Russian defense ministry
In 2019, the Russian president made a proposal to several countries, including NATO members, to introduce a moratorium on the deployment of short- and medium-range missiles in Europe and other regions. But the U.S. rejected the initiative, TASS reported.
The Russian defense ministry also proposed the destruction of the Mk-41 missile launchers at the Romanian missile defense site.
Moscow says it violated the INF (bilateral) Treaty.
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