Military alliance CSTO supports Russia-U.S. nuclear disarmament treaty

Huang Panyue

MOSCOW, June 11 (Xinhua) -- A military alliance grouping six former Soviet republics adopted a statement Monday supporting the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the United States and Russia.

The joint statement by the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) was adopted after foreign ministers of the member countries held a meeting in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

The document expressed support for a constructive dialogue to resolve existing problems around the INF Treaty, it said.

The document also voiced "concerns about the recent emergence of certain situations that suggest the treaty is under threat," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after the meeting.

"(Undermining the INF Treaty) does not benefit any party, neither Russia nor the United States, as the main parties to the treaty, nor the world community, including the CSTO member states," he said.

The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by the United States and the Soviet Union. It prohibits both sides from developing, deploying or testing medium-range and short-range ballistic missiles and ground-launched missiles. The two sides also agreed to eliminate all launchers and ground-based missiles with a range of 500-5,500 km.

Moscow and Washington have repeatedly accused each other of violating the treaty.

Formed in 1992, the CSTO comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Serbia and Afghanistan are two observer countries.


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