09 August

Russia’s further steps concerning the termination of the INF Treaty

The attention of the entire world, especially in Europe, was focused on the final destruction of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty by the United States.

The US withdrawal from the INF Treaty is further graphic evidence of Washington’s policy of destroying the system of international security and strategic stability. Obviously, this policy is aimed at securing its military power and supremacy over any opponent. Thus, the Americans want to eliminate any restrictions that could hypothetically prevent them from reaching this goal.

Incidentally, we have repeatedly emphasised that US National Security Adviser John Bolton told us specifically, as early as his visit to Moscow last October, that Washington is worried about the potential of intermediate and shorter range missiles in Asia, primarily in China, which compels the US to level the balance of forces in the region. Immediately after the termination of the INF Treaty, US Defence Secretary Mark Esper openly expressed the Pentagon’s interest in deploying missiles of these ranges in Asia Pacific. These facts illustrate that the US has purposefully been destroying the treaty for a long time.

Only those who lack an understanding of the political environment in today’s international relations do not know why the treaty’s termination was again blamed on Moscow. It is convenient to accuse Moscow of anything. This is just one example.

Washington’s withdrawal from the INF Treaty creates the real prospect of the deployment of US nuclear missile systems of these ranges in various regions in the world. Naturally, as Russian leaders said, we will have to take this negative factor into account in our military planning and, if necessary, respond practically to emerging threats.

In line with the instructions given by President of Russia Vladimir Putin on August 5, and in cooperation with other departments, the Foreign Ministry will closely follow US actions on developing, producing and deploying ground-based intermediate and shorter range missiles. If the Americans carry out these actions, Russia will take exhaustive reciprocal measures to ensure its own national security.

The Russian President also announced a unilateral commitment not to deploy missiles that were covered by the treaty in any region until similar US-made weapons appear there.

We again urge Washington and its allies to display responsibility and join this moratorium, which would enhance predictability in military-political affairs. Such a step would show the international community that concern for international security is not an empty shell for them, that it is important not only for Russia.

We remain open to an equitable and constructive dialogue with the United States on INF and other issues of strategic stability based on mutual respect and consideration for each other’s interests.