MOSCOW, October 24. /TASS/. Russia intends to mobilize the world community in support of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) in the light of the US statements about intention to withdraw from the agreement, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told TASS.
According to Ryabkov, Russia considers the INF Treaty to be "the cornerstone of European and global security." "In the coming days, maybe even hours, we will take measures, at the UN and at other venues, to mobilize international support to preserve the treaty," the Russian diplomat said.
"We expect that sensible forces will come forward in its defense. We think that stopping this destructive policy is in everyone’s interests to prevent slipping into a situation where one option is worse than the other," he added.
When asked whether the US decision was considered a done deal in Russia, the diplomat answered affirmatively and added, "There is no way back and the point of no return has been passed, according to our estimates."
Russian ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov told reporters earlier that the US authorities will cause irreparable damage to the system of agreements in the field of strategic security if the country withdraws from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty).
I believe that if the United States fulfils their intentions to withdraw from this treaty, then the system of agreements in the field of strategic security will suffer serious, and maybe even irreparable damage. We will have one agreement with an unclear future," he said.
"I think it is very easy to destroy and very difficult to create. I know the work of Russian negotiators, American negotiators that went into creating the INF Treaty. I know that thanks to this treaty two classes of missiles were destroyed," Antonov said.
"All concerns should be discussed behind closed doors. With all due respect to the press, without involving the media. It should be discussed professionally, trying to understand each other. I firmly believe that if there is political will, then the solution can be found," the diplomat added.
The United States attempting to achieve military dominance in space is unacceptable for Russia and Moscow will oppose it, he went on.
"The American side, especially with the arrival of the Trump’s administration, has embarked on a course for total domination in outer space, just like in other areas - in cyberspace, missile defense, and anywhere," Ryabkov said, commenting on the statements of US Vice President Mike Pence, who earlier reaffirmed vision for "American dominance in space".
"This is categorically unacceptable for us," Ryabkov stated, adding, "We will oppose this politically at all sites."
According to Deputy Foreign Minister, the policy of the current leadership in Washington "is aimed at removing obstacles to ensure the United States dictate in all spheres and domination in the military field in any dimension, including space.".
On October 20, US President Donald Trump announced that the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty, as Russia, in his opinion, violates this 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.
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 developing missiles, which are tested at a range prohibited by the treaty and deploying missile defense elements, which may be used for launching short- and intermediate-range missiles.