France regrets U.S. withdrawal from arms control treaty, calls on Russia to keep talks

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-02 19:57:44|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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PARIS, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- France regretted United States move to leave the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, asking Russia to use the six-month window to keep talks on nuclear arms pact and come into compliance with the agreement, the country's Foreign Ministry said in a press release issued late on Friday.

"France regrets to arrive at a situation in which the United States had to notify its withdrawal from the INF Treaty," the ministry said, reiterating Paris "commitment to arms control instruments, which help to ensure strategic stability."

On Friday, Washington announced it would suspend its compliance to the treaty, which will trigger a six-month countdown period leading to a permanent exit from the pact inked in 1987 between the United States and the then-Soviet Union.

In response to Washington decision, Moscow said on Saturday it has suspended the Cold War-era INF Treaty, but noted eventual possibility to discuss proposals on the agreement if the U.S. engages in equal and substantive dialogue on the disarmament issue.

The INF Treaty marked the first-ever pact reached by Washington and Moscow on nuclear disarmament and a major step forward in restricting the arms race.

However, the two sides have been accusing each other of violating the arms control agreement in recent years amid increasing tensions.