Italy concerned over US’ intention to withdraw from INF treaty, says PM
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has expressed his concern over the US’ intention to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, he said on Monday at the foreign press association in Rome, TASS reports.
"Our government pays close attention to peace processes. I am concerned over the US’ decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, I will be in Moscow, I will meet with [Russian] President Vladimir Putin, and I hope to discuss that," Conte said. He noted that due to its traditions and history, Italy "is always ready to cooperate and contribute to peace processes."
On October 20, US President Donald Trump said that Washington would withdraw from the INF Treaty because Russia was violating the terms of the agreement. At the same time, he did not rule out signing a new agreement on intermediate-range nuclear forces with Moscow and Beijing if Russia and China provide guarantees of halting the production of such weapons.
The INF Treaty was signed between the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987 in Washington, DC. The US accused Russia of violating the agreement for the first time in July 2014. Later, Washington repeated the claims on many occasions, while Moscow rejected them, also accusing the US of developing and deploying missiles and missile defense elements prohibited by the treaty.