MOSCOW, January 27. /TASS/. Moscow will resume its proposals for establishing a moratorium on the deployment of intermediate-and shorter range missiles after the US President Joseph Biden-led administration has formed its team in charge of arms control issues, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told the media on Wednesday.
"When Washington is finished with the process of forming its new team in charge of national security issues, including arms control, we will resume our proposals, of course, bring them to the fore again and call for a meaningful dialogue. Not through microphones, not by means of exchanging comments in public, but in a normal fashion at the negotiating table," Ryabkov said in reply to a TASS question.
"I do not believe that the INF Treaty can be restored to its original shape that lasted for 30 years. Generally speaking, it is from a different era, and it is gone never to return. We are to look forward. Nobody except us has put forward any ideas yet as to what is to be done in the interests of maintaining at least the minimum level of predictability for the sake of enhancing security. The way I see it, the Western counterparts either do not understand or deliberately distort President Vladimir Putin’s proposals for reciprocal moratoriums," Ryabkov said.
He stressed that the Russian leader’s proposal envisaged verification of moratoriums on the deployment of certain weapon systems in the European zone.
"We should have a chance to see that NATO countries do not possess such systems. Accordingly, we are prepared to agree with them on corresponding verification measures on our territory. It would be a real, specific contribution to strengthening universal security," he said.
As far as the Asian zone is concerned, Ryabkov said, Russia will be ready to adhere to a unilateral pledge not to deploy intermediate-and shorter range missiles there, as long as corresponding systems of US manufacture are absent from there.
"But all this remains just a proposal for the time being, which, due to certain political reasons and preferences of our opponents fails to meet with a proper response," Ryabkov said.
In September 2019, it was announced that Putin had addressed the leaders of several countries, including NATO members, with a proposal for imposing a moratorium on the deployment of intermediate-and shorter range missiles in Europe and other regions. The United States in fact dismissed this initiative.