The Russian foreign minister said on Wednesday his country would continue to comply with arms agreements aimed at eliminating nuclear weapons but that he feared the United States wanted to end the treaties.
At his annual press conference, Sergey Lavrov said Moscow had not violated the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) — a 1987 arms agreement aimed at eliminating intermediate and shorter-range missiles — and that it aimed to renew the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
"We are still ready to work to save the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty," Lavrov said.
The US has accused Moscow of developing a missile that violates the INF agreement, which bans missiles with a range of 500-5,500 kilometers (310-3417.5 miles).
At a meeting in Geneva on Tuesday, US Undersecretary of State Andrea Thompson insisted Russia should dismantle the missile immediately.
In early January, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave Russia a 60-day ultimatum to comply with the treaty.
However, Russia claims the Novator 9M729 missile falls 2 kilometers short in its reach for it to be breaching the INF Treaty and accused the US of developing missiles that would violate the agreement between the two states.
Lavrov called for European states to help save the 1987 treaty.
As well as the INF Treaty, another arms agreement is at stake; the renewal of START, which expires in Feb. 2021.
Lavrov said Russia was interested in extending the agreement and had worked hard to eliminate any potential issues that could irritate the US.
The treaty, penned in 2010 by then US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, aims to restrict both countries' nuclear arsenal by limiting the development of strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550 each.