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MOSCOW, November 28 (Itar-Tass) —— The State Duma has suggested linking reset between Russia and the United States to the outcome of the missile defence talks.
“If we come to a common denominator on missile defence, then we can talk of reset, of not, then each side will have to act on the basis of its own realities,” First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky said.
By consistently carrying out own European missile defence plans, the United States has minimised the positive effect from the reset, the MP said after a roundtable of missile defence on Monday, November 28.
“The biggest success of this new chapter in Russian-U.S. relations was the signing of the New START Treaty. But this treaty links strategic offence weapons to missile defence. But the American administration, acting in circumvention of all agreements, is now trying to deploy systems near Russian borders that threaten our strategic nuclear deterrence forces,” Slutsky said.
In his opinion, reset will continue only if the missile defence talks are put back on track in compliance with the agreements that were meant when the New START Treaty was drafted and signed.
The Duma earlier cautioned against “burying” Russian-U.S. reset over the missile defence disagreements, but said President Dmitry Medvedev’s statement on the issue was a legitimate result of the deadlocked talks with the United States and NATO on missile defence.
Medvedev said in a televised address on November 23 that Russia would take strong measures, such as enhancement of its strategic capabilities and deployment of attack systems, in response to further implementation of U.S. plans to create missile defence in Europe.
He said Russia would reserve the right to give up further disarmament and arms control measures and might withdraw from the START Treaty.
Medvedev stressed that if other measures prove insufficient, Russia would deploy modern attack systems in the west and south of the country which will be able to destroy the U.S. missile defence elements in Europe. He mentioned in particular Iskander systems in the Kaliningrad region.
“Dmitry Medvedev’s statement is a legitimate result of the deadlocked talks on missile defence,” Slutsky of the Liberal Democratic Party said.
In his opinion, the absence of results is direct proof that “there is no cooperation as such”, and yet he thinks “it is too early to say that reset has come to a complete stop”.
“There will be no return to the Cold War,” State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Deputy Chairman Leonid Kalashnikov echoed him.
However he admitted that he was “pleased” by Medvedev’s statement because “it is no longer possible to talk to the U.S. in the language of concessions”.
“Otherwise they will simply crush us,” he added.
When asked about the consequences of Russia’s possible withdrawal from the START Treaty, Mikhail Nenashev of United Russia, who is a member of the State Duma Defence Committee, said this would be an undesired scenario for all sides, including for global security.
If the American actions force Russia to pull out of the START Treaty, this will only “spur arms race and the development of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in other countries”, he said.
“Adverse effects will be felt by the whole world,” Nenashev added.