MOSCOW, October 21. /TASS/. The landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) apparently stonewalls Washington’s plans for total domination, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told TASS commenting on US President Donald Trump’s statement on plans to ditch the 1987 arms control agreement with Russia.
"At first glance, I can say that apparently the INF Treaty creates problems for pursuing the line towards the US total domination in military sphere," Ryabkov said.
The US withdrawal from the INF Treaty would be a very dangerous step, which would be definitely condemned by the international community, the senior diplomat said.
"Apparently, inability and unwillingness to come to terms with us on a sound foundation push certain forces in Washington to encourage the country’s leadership to make a decision on a formal withdrawal from the treaty," he said.
"This would be a very dangerous step, which, I’m sure, won’t be just understood by the international community, but arouse serious condemnation of all members of the world community, who are committed to security and stability and are ready to work on strengthening the current regimes in arms control," Ryabkov noted.
Russia expects that US National Security Advisor John Bolton, who is arriving in Moscow on Sunday, will clarify Washington’s plans on the INF Treaty, Sergey Ryabkov told TASS.
"Today the US president’s national security advisor is arriving in Moscow. We hope during the contacts with him tomorrow and the day after tomorrow to hear more details and clarifications on what steps the US side is planning to take," Ryabkov said.
Russia condemns US attempts to achieve Moscow’s concessions in international security issues through blackmail, Ryabkov said. "We condemn the continuing attempts to achieve Russia’s concessions through blackmail, moreover in such an issue which has importance for international security and security in the nuclear weapons sphere, for maintaining strategic stability."
Russia strictly observes the INF Treaty and has been pointing to Washington’s violations of the arms control agreement for many years, Ryabkov told TASS.
"Therefore, these are the attempts to portray this situation as if Russia violates the treaty. But it’s not just that we do not violate it, but we strictly observe it. And we are tolerant when pointing to US blatant violations of the agreement for many years," Ryabkov said.
On Saturday, US President Donald Trump said that Washington would withdraw from the INF Treaty because Russia was violating the terms of the agreement. At the same time, he did not rule out signing a new agreement on intermediate-range nuclear forces with Moscow and Beijing if Russia and China provide guarantees of halting the production of such weapons.
According to the US data, which was shared with NATO allies, Russia allegedly started deploying its newest missiles 9M729, what Washington claims is a violation of the 1987 treaty. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the US accusations that the 9M729 range exceeds the limits stipulated by the treaty have not been proven.
The INF Treaty was signed between the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987 in Washington, DC. The US accused Russia of violating the agreement for the first time in July 2014. Later, Washington repeated the claims on many occasions, while Moscow rejected them, also accusing the US of not observing the treaty.