Russia to reiterate idea of moratorium on missile deployment at Geneva summit — Lavrov

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MOSCOW, June 9. /TASS/. Moscow will reiterate its proposal for a moratorium on the deployment of land-based intermediate and shorter-range missiles to Europe at the Russia-US summit in Geneva, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an address to the Primakov Readings forum on Wednesday.

He pointed out that French leader Emmanuel Macron was the only one who had positively reacted to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal for the moratorium. “Our proposal is still on the table, and we certainly will reiterate it at the Geneva summit on June 16,” he said.

According to Lavrov, Russia has also proposed verification measures with regard to the issues that create a lack of trust.

“Given the lack of trust on both sides, we suggest taking measures to verify this kind of a moratorium. We invite you to visit the Kaliningrad region to see the Iskander missiles with your own eyes and in return, we would like our experts to have the opportunity to visit the air defense bases that are being created in Romania and Poland, because the producer of Lockheed Martin launchers openly advertises them as dual-use goods. It is a very fair proposal. The Americans have ignored it as they are reluctant to allow anyone into their air defense bases,” the Russian top diplomat stressed.

News came in September 2019 that Russian President Vladimir Putin had invited the leaders of several countries, including NATO members, to impose a moratorium on the deployment of intermediate and shorter-range missiles to Europe and other regions, but the United States later rejected the initiative. On October 26, 2020, Putin reiterated the initiative and reaffirmed Russia’s commitment to the moratorium that would stay in effect as long as similar class US-made missile weapons were absent from the regions in question. He also specified options for easing tensions following the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.