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Russia continues monitoring development of US missile defense system — diplomat

May 27, 2016, 13:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia's deputy foreign minister says the development of the system can affect the implementation of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty

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© AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

MOSCOW, May 27. /TASS/. Russia continues monitoring the development of US missile defense system as it can affect the implementation of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Friday at the session at the Russian Federation Council.

He noted that US positively assesses the process of implementing START. "We continue closely monitoring the development of US missile defense system, meaning interconnection between strategic defense and strategic offensive arms, as well as effect of this interconnection on the problem of START," Ryabkov added.

US still provided no details for their claims of Russia’s violations of INF Treaty

The United States is still not ready to provide detailed information to Russia about alleged violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

"The situation around the Soviet-US INF Treaty from 1987 has considerably deteriorated over the last years. We adhere to the Treaty and fulfill all its provisions. However, in 2013 US started to accuse us, at first in confidential contacts and then publicly, of violating the document. Washington says that in 2008-2011, a ground-based winged missile was test-fired on the Kapustin Yar training range, which is prohibited by the agreement," Ryabkov explained.

"Americans refuse to provide additional details to their claims, citing reluctance to disclose their sources. They only note that the aforementioned winged missile was not an RS-26 intercontinental ballistic missile or R-500 winged missile," he added.

US Administration is working on diplomatic, economic and military measures over "Russian violations," the diplomat said. "We see the tendency to integrating them into Washington’s general efforts to react to ‘Russia’s aggressive behavior’," he concluded.

Violations of INF by the United States

Meanwhile, Russia is concerned with violations of INF by the United States.

He noted the deteriorating situation around the INF Treaty. "The situation has not been settled so far because US refuse to take into account our concerns," Ryabkov said.

At the same time, the diplomat stressed that Moscow "has expressed to Washington very serious concerns over implementation of the agreement."

"Dialogue on implementing this agreement will continue," he added.

A ground-based Aegis system was commissioned in a ceremony in the Romanian town of Deveselu earlier in May. A total of 175 hectares was allocated here to accommodate the ballistic missile defense base comprising a radar, an operations center for antimissile batteries and Mk-1 vertical launch systems (VLS) with SM-3 Standard-3 antimissiles. It is also expected that the similar system will be deployed in Poland in 2018.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on May 13 at the session on developing military-industrial complex that deployment of US missile defense system in Europe is not protection but nuclear potential buildup. He also expressed concern with United States creating conditions for breaching the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). "This (the deployment of the missile shield system in Europe) is an additional threat for us," the Russian president said. "After the US unilateral withdrawal from the anti-ballistic missile treaty, which was clearly the first step towards the attempts to disrupt the strategic balance of forces in the world, this will be the second blow against the system of international security, i.e. the creation of conditions for breaching the INF Treaty," the Russian president said. "This causes our additional concerns," he concluded.

Moscow ready for contacts with NATO on future of conventional weapons in Europe

Moscow is ready for contacts with NATO on the regime of conventional weapons control in Europe on the basis of equal and indivisible security and expects West’s response.

"Not NATO, but Russia was the first to note the importance of complete renewal of the set of rules of European security by proposing to make an agreement on European security," Ryabkov said. "The document would have fully taken into account the modern realities on the continent."

"Unfortunately, instead of eliminating division lines in Europe, Western colleagues chose a completely closed security architecture on the basis of never-ending NATO expansion to the detriment of development and strengthening of pan-European institutions and at the expense of security of those countries that do not want to join NATO," the diplomat noted.

In the conditions of the acute phase of the conflict in Ukraine, US and their allies started "to use instruments of control over weapons and confidence-building measures" to pressure Moscow and unleash an informational war against Russia, he went on. "We are refuting this appropriately," he stressed.

"Principles of the new regime of control over conventional weapons in Europe on the basis of equal and indivisible security may and should be considered in the context of restoring an adequate level of trust and normalization of relations between NATO, Western countries and Russia, including full restoration of military cooperation," Ryabkov said.

"Western colleagues know very well about our readiness for such contacts, the ball’s in their court. However, it looks like the Alliance is not ready to make any concrete proposals, taking into account the Ukrainian factor and upcoming presidential election in the United States," he concluded.

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