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German, British diplomats to attend Russia foreign ministry briefing on INF Treaty

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Moscow, Jan 17: Ever since US President Donald Trump expressed a desire to make the US pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) Treaty signed with Russia in the late 1980s, international actors have been apprehensive for rendering the important disarmament pact dysfunctional could lead to sinister repercussions.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin

On Thursday, January 17, sources in the German embassy in Moscow told Russia's TASS News Agency that a representative from it will take part in the Russian foreign ministry's briefing on the future of the INF Treaty on Friday, January 18. The ministry reportedly invited the embassy representative to the briefing.

Also Read | US threatens to pull out of INF Treaty: What is this treaty about?

Even Britain is willing to do the same. A source in the British embassy in the Russian capital told TASS that Ambassador Laurie Bristow was highly likely to visit the briefing session.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said earlier that on Friday, the ministry would hold a briefing for the foreign diplomats over the INF Treaty issue. He said there would be "a large-scale series of events", the TASS report added.

Earlier this week, Russia and the US held inter-agency talks on the INF Treaty in Geneva. The tension did not reduce after the talks as Ryabkov said afterwards that the US did not even try to bring the parties' positions clear, making it evident that it was hell-bent to destroy the treaty.

Also Read | China cautions US against withdrawing from INF Treaty

Andrea Thompson, the US Department of State's Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security who was in charge of the American delegation, accused Russia once again of violating the treaty and said Washington would start pulling out of the treaty on February 2 unless Russia destroys its 9M729 missile.

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