Moscow [Russia]: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Monday that the risk of a new arms race is growing after the United States pulled out from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
“Risks of the beginning of a new competitive phase of the arms race have increased significantly. The arms race is a well-established term that has come to us from the past. It is a process in which measures and countermeasures are essentially carried out in a predetermined, if not automatic mode,” Anadolu News Agency quoted him as saying.
On August 2, Washington officially exited from the arms control treaty after accusing Moscow of violating the agreement’s terms by building a missile.
The treaty, sealed in the waning days of the Soviet Union in 1987, bans ground-launched missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometres. It also halted the prospects of a full-scale nuclear war in Europe.
“Russia suggested the US a transparency regarding the 9M729 missile, provoking the US’ concerns, but Washington refused ‘even the proposal’ to discuss how the anxiety can be eliminated,” Ryabkov said.
“It was unacceptable for Russia’s security to agree for the missile’s infrastructure destruction as the US demanded,” he added.
The Russian minister said that the only way to address concerns between the US and Russia is to declare “parallel moratorium on the deployment of the missiles in the regions free of them”.
“We must focus on preserving what remains of the international arms control architecture. First of all, this concerns the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START Treaty), by limiting strategic nuclear weapons,” Ryabkov said.
Comparing the US’ pullout from the Iran nuclear deal with that of the arms control treaty, Ryabkov said that Washington found a “pretext” to withdraw from both the agreements.