Ryabkov: Russia ready for new INF Treaty meeting with U.S. any time

Ryabkov: Russia ready for new INF Treaty meeting with U.S. any time

Russia is ready to discuss the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty at any time convenient and acceptable for the United States, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said.

"If they name time and place, we will be there," he noted, adding that Russia has always said this and repeats it again. "But so far we do not see readiness for such contacts," the diplomat stressed.

He also noted that the U.S. must turn to fulfilling its own obligations under the deal to "ensure the treaty's survival" Ryabkov added that if Washington is not ready to the dialogue with Russia, the responsibility for the failure of the pact would rest with the U.S. party.

"We don’t understand the essence of the US current position. Do our partners in Washington want us to work toward preserving the treaty or have they finally decided that following suspension of the treaty, as they told us clearly at the consultations [in Geneva], the  official and complete withdrawal from the treaty will follow?" Sputnik cited the official as saying.

The under-secretary of state for arms control and international security, Andrea Thompson, earlier said that there were currently no plans for a follow-up talks on the INF before the 2 February deadline, though U.S. and Russian diplomats would be meeting, including at a summit of the Nato-Russian council next week.