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ROME, ITALY (DECEMBER 6, 2019) (REUTERS) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEI LAVROV, AND ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, LUIGI DI MAIO, ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE PHOTOGRAPHER (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING (TRANSLATION PROVIDED BY OFFICIAL INTERPRETER): "In the appeal that was sent to dozens of international leaders, including all the NATO member countries, the (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin, dwelling on the reasons that led to the short- and intermediate- range missiles treaty's failure, mentioned our readiness to nevertheless avoid escalation of the situation in this sphere and proposed a mutual moratorium on the deployment of this type of (intermediate-range nuclear) missiles. I would like once again to recall that, precisely through President Putin, when the Americans started the official legal process of disposing of this treaty in February of this year - and it ended in August, if I'm not mistaken - president Putin reacted by saying that we will have a mirror reaction. If the Americans leave the treaty and thus they will design, create and deploy this type of missiles previously banned by the IRNFT (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty), we will do the same, but we will never be the first to place missiles in those regions if there are not already similar American missiles, this position remains fully relevant. When we face the argument that the West does not react to the proposal of a moratorium, with the exception of the (French) president (Emmanuel) Macron who expressed his readiness to start the dialogue, and I am convinced that we will certainly do so, while other countries continue to be silent. If we see that our proposal will remain without any response, our position of President Putin will remain completely as I have just confirmed. If real steps are taken (by Americans) on the development and deployment there will be our mirror reaction. But we will not be first. Just recently, the Americans reassured that they do not intend to design more missiles of this category, yet they have already test-launched a missile like that on the MK41 launch pad - which they had told us for years was only to be used for launching counter missiles. In reality, everything happened just like we had warned. So we are taking all these factors into account." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS CARABINIERI MILITARY POLICEMAN LAVROV AND DI MAIO SHAKING HANDS AND LEAVING ROOM
Dateline: 2019

Russia Says Will Respond To U.s. On Missile Deployment

Item ID: 121681184

By: Reuters

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