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  • President Vladimir Putin, Russia, October 26, 2020.

    President Vladimir Putin, Russia, October 26, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @glabgom

Published 26 October 2020 (12 hours 8 minutes ago)
Opinion

President Putin reaffirmed his proposal for a moratorium on the deployment of short and medium-range land-based missiles as long as the U.S. does not deploy similar weapons.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin Monday proposed to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) several steps to reduce strategic tension in Europe.

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Putin blamed the United States for the increasing Russian-NATO tensions as Washington deployed short and medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe, which violates the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) signed by both countries in 2010.

To reduce the risks associated with missile disputes, the Russian president reaffirmed his proposal for a moratorium on the deployment of short and medium-range land-based missiles as long as the U.S. does not deploy similar weapons in European territory.

Putin offered to allow the U.S. and its NATO allies to conduct on-site inspections to make sure that the weapons previously banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) are not deployed to Europe.

“The U.S. pulling out of the INF Treaty was a serious mistake that exacerbated the risks of a missile weapons race, growth of the confrontation potential, and slide into uncontrolled escalation,” Putin said.

As part of mutual inspections, Russian experts could visit the U.S. missile defense facilities in Europe to make sure they cannot be adapted for launching surface-to-surface missiles instead of interceptor missiles, which Moscow has been concerned about.

Russia would offer NATO access to inspect its units in Kaliningrad to make sure they are not equipped with 9M729 ground-launched cruise missiles, which are banned by the INF.

Last week, Putin pointed out the urgent need to renew New START which expires in February 2021, and warned that the world will have no future if there is no arms control.

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