NOVO OGARYOVO, October 27. /TASS/. Russia’s proposal regarding a moratorium on the deployment of intermediate- and shorter-range missiles remains on the table and is becoming increasingly relevant, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.
"As you know, Russia declared a unilateral moratorium on the deployment of intermediate- and shorter-range missiles in the Asia Pacific Region and other regions of the world, and called for a serious conversation on this issue with all interested states," Putin said, speaking at the East Asia Summit.
The head of state underscored that "this Russian proposal remains on the table, and it is only becoming more relevant."
The Russian leader stated that it is important to maintain joint efforts on regional stability and security while sorting out pressing socio-economic problems. According to Putin, this is even more relevant, because the number of threats and challenges in the Asia Pacific Region keeps growing instead of decreasing, with old conflicts escalating as new conflicts pop up.
"In particular, we have repeatedly noted that, after the INF Treaty ceased to exist, the region faced the probability of these strike weapons appearing on its vast territory, and, accordingly, the prospect of a new round of the arms race," the Russian leader said.
Putin emphasized that Russia has consistently advocated the establishment of an atmosphere of equal and indivisible security in the Asia Pacific Region, the strengthening of a constructive cooperation atmosphere based on the principles of international law, including respect for sovereignty, equality and mutual consideration of interests.
"In our opinion, this is the only way to curb existing and emerging threats, solve problems that are highly relevant for our region and the entire global community, and to efficiently cooperate in the interest of sustainable development and the improvement of people’s welfare," he concluded, assuring that Russia would continue to contribute to such joint work.
Situation around the INF Treaty
On February 2, 2019, the US suspended its participation in the INF Treaty, pointing to an alleged violation of the pact by Russia. Initially, Washington put forward such violation claims in July 2014. According to the US administration, Russia breached the treaty by developing the 9M729 missile. Moscow rejected this claim, rolling out a number of reciprocal accusations, involving, for example, US missile defense system elements deployed in Europe.
In September 2019, Putin sent a proposal to several countries, including NATO member states, to introduce a moratorium on the deployment of intermediate- and shorter-range missiles in Europe and other regions. The US effectively rejected this initiative.