(Adds detail, NATO comments)
MOSCOW, July 30 Russia on Wednesday dismissed
Washington's accusations that it has violated the
Intermediate-Range Nuclear Treaty as "unfounded", and said it
had its own complaints against the United States over the
"We have amassed many complaints to the U.S. in the context
of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Treaty. This includes...
production of armed drones by the Americans, which...fall into
the category of ground-based cruise missiles as defined by the
Treaty," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry was reacting to Washington's allegations that
Moscow had violated the 1988 accord.
The exchange of the accusations took place amid the deepest
East-West rift since the end of the Cold War over Moscow's role
in the Ukraine crisis and the EU and United States economic
sanctions against Moscow.
The treaty was designed to eliminate ground-launched cruise
missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 km (310 to 3,400 miles).
The United States has called for senior-level talks, while
Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the problems
over the treaty should be resolved "in working regime".
On Wednesday, NATO said the United States had briefed
ambassadors from the 27 other NATO countries on its
determination that Russia was in violation of its obligations
under the treaty.
"Russia should work constructively to resolve this critical
treaty issue and preserve the viability of the INF Treaty by
returning to full compliance in a verifiable manner," NATO
Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; additional reporting by
Adrian Croft in Brussels; Editing by Angus MacSwan)