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Russia in 'material breach' of key nuclear treaty

Russia in 'material breach' of key nuclear treaty

Asked if Russian Federation would consider releasing minutes from President Vladimir Putin's one-on-one talks with Trump, Lavrov said doing so would defy the basic culture of diplomacy and dismissed the possibility.

"What kind of nonsense are you asking about?"

USA and Russian diplomats were meeting on Tuesday to discuss the fate of a major nuclear missile control treaty that Washington has threatened to ditch over alleged violations by Moscow. "It has reached such a scale that it's awkward to even talk about it".

Over the weekend, Pompeo called Maduro's government illegitimate and said the United States would work with like-minded countries in Latin America to restore democracy in Venezuela.

Andrea Thompson, US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, also tweeted that she was leading the American delegation to the talks.

Separately, Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, also derided the claims in the US media that Trump might have worked for Russian interests.

Russian Federation remains "in material breach" of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the USA said Tuesday, raising the prospect that Washington will follow through on threats to ditch the agreement over alleged violations by Moscow.

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Russian Federation denies it is in violation of the treaty, which forbids ground-launched short- and intermediate-range missiles.

The United States on Wednesday rejected a Russian offer to save a landmark treaty that keeps nuclear missiles out of Europe because it could not be properly verified, setting the stage for Washington to withdraw from the pact next month. Russian Federation shows no readiness to move, and accuses the Nato, in turn, also, to break the Treaty with the stationing of a missile defense system in Romania.

Lavrov charged that the US refusal to consider the Russian offer to have a close look at the missile reflects Washington's intention to abandon the INF treaty.

Ahead of the talks Ryabkov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying he was not optimistic for progress. The statement said USA officials were expected to visit Thursday; the US ambassador saw him on January 2.

"Our relevant authorities have revealed the circumstances of Mr Whelan's arrest".

Whelan, a former U.S. Marine, was arrested in Moscow last month on suspicion of espionage.

Trump said this week that he never acted in Russia's favor and repeated his claim that the investigation into his ties to Moscow is a hoax. He rejected allegations that Russian Federation was gloating in the turmoil, saying that Russian Federation is interested in seeing a "united, strong and, most importantly, independent European Union". The INF was a bilateral treaty between the USA and the then Soviet Union, so it puts no restrictions on other major military actors like China.