Saturday 23rd of March 2019 |
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U.N. Panel Rejects Russian Proposal on Nuclear Treaty




A U.N. General Assembly panel rejected Friday Russia's proposal to debate its resolution on preserving the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) that the U.S. plans to pull out of.
Fifty-five countries on a General Assembly committee specializing in disarmament voted against putting the debate on the agenda, while 31 voted in favor and there were 54 abstentions.
Several of the countries that abstained had argued the issue was more a matter for the U.N. Security Council. 
Russia let it be known that it had not ruled out submitting its draft to the UN's highest body, despite the fact that the United States exercises veto powers there.
"The international community has an obligation to react to this apocalyptic situation," a Russian diplomat said in response to Washington's recent announcement that it planned to pull out of the treaty, signed in 1987 by U.S. president Ronald Reagan and the Soviet Union's last leader, Mikhail Gorbachev.
Moscow's draft resolution, released to the media, "calls on Russia and the United States to pursue consultation in respect of their obligations conforming to the INF."
It also calls for the resumption of "a constructive dialogue on strategic questions, based on the principles of openness and mutual respect." 
And it expresses hope that "the dialogue will contribute to subsequent progress in the reduction of nuclear arms and the strengthening of international security and stability."
The draft also calls for "strict and entire respect" for the treaty and asks "all signatory states to exert efforts to reinforce the  INF treaty and preserve its efficiency."
In also proposes "supplementary cooperation measures to strengthen trust" and the "implementation of the INF treaty."
U.S. President Donald Trump announced last weekend that the U.S. would pull out of the INF treaty, which prohibits nuclear missiles with a range of 310 to 3,100 miles (500 to 5,000 kilometers). 
Washington has accused Moscow of violating the accord years.
Moscow officials have said the U.S. has committed "flagrant violations" of the treaty and Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the US decision to pull out could cause a "dangerous" situation.
Trump and Putin are due to meet in Paris on November 11.

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