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Russian ambassador Vladimir Chizhov shares thoughts on INF treaty and MH17 suspects

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Russian ambassador Vladimir Chizhov shares thoughts on INF treaty and MH17 suspects
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Euronews' correspondent Andrei Beketov spoke with Russian ambassador Vladimir Chizhov at a press conference in Brussels about recent news involving Russia in foreign affairs. This is what he had to say.

INF Treaty suspended

Russian lawmakers voted to suspend the country’s participation in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on Tuesday. The treaty, which was established in 1987, banned the US and Russia from producing and deploying missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometres.

Chizhov warned that arms control is now more dangerous.

"Unfortunately, INF seems to be more dead than alive, which is a very negative development, and we are quite sorry about that," Chizhov said. "Not only the fate of the INF itself but also the overall situation in arms control."

US deploys troops to Poland

Chizhov said he did not agree with the US's decision to send an additional 1,000 troops to Poland. Poland's President Andrzej Duda sought out the deployment because of past Russian aggression against Poland and to solidify his country’s ties to the West.

According to the US ambassador to Warsaw, it was a defensive measure needed for its security.

"There have been a certain number of troops in Poland already, but on rotation bases," Chizhov said. "Now we are talking about permanent deployment. I believe it is a violation of the Founding Act of 1997."

MH17 suspects announced

Three Russian nationals and a Ukrainian citizen will face murder charges for the deaths of 298 people aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that was shot down over eastern Ukraine in 2014, an international team of investigators announced on Wednesday.

All of these were in eastern Ukraine on the night of the attack, said the spokesman for the investigators, who are from The Netherlands, where most of the victims of the incident were from.

The Netherlands has said that Russia has not cooperated with their investigation procedures, and do not expect them to hand over any of the charged.

Chizhov said the investigation was unfair to Russia.

"The so-called international investigating group has refused to cooperate with Russia from the very start," Chizhov said.

"After that, we were even accused of not wanting to cooperate. In reality, masses of well-documented evidence, which was presented by the Russian side, was simply ignored. Why was Malaysia excluded from the work in the investigating group but Ukraine included? It's absolutely clear that Ukraine is guilty of not closing its airspace for flights over this region."