Consultations between Russia and the United States in an interdepartmental format on the Treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range missiles (INF) began on Tuesday in Geneva.
The Russian delegation is headed by Deputy foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and the US delegation is headed by the US Deputy Secretary of state for arms control and international security Andrea Thompson. This will be their first meeting face-to-face since Thompson’s appointment.
Consultations are closed to the press.
As Ryabkov told reporters on Monday, Russia is ready for serious work with the US in the upcoming consultations and calls on Washington to abandon the ultimatums and preconditions.
The current round is taking place against the backdrop of plans announced by the US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Treaty, and on December 4 last year Secretary of state Michael Pompeo said that Washington will stop fulfilling its obligations under the document if Russia does not return to the Treaty within 60 days. Thus, in early February, Washington may start counting down the time until the agreement is withdrawn.
In recent years, the US has repeatedly accused Russia of violating the agreement. The Russian side categorically disagrees with these accusations and puts forward counter-claims.