WASHINGTON, June 1. /TASS/. The Russian embassy in the United States on Friday described a recent Washington Post article on disarmament issues and Russia-US relations in this domain as " another example of amateurishness of American journalism."
CTBT and New START
"In pursuit of sensation, the author does not attempt to look into the essence of the problem," the embassy said, commenting on the article that focuses primarily on the situation surrounding the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and a strategic nuclear arms reduction treaty known as the New START.
"We will let the claims that Russia may be conducting nuclear tests remain on the conscience of the DIA leadership: the Agency has not provided any facts," the Russian diplomatic mission said in a statement.
"It is noteworthy, though, how strikingly this accusation contrasts with a measured and professional assessment of the high-level US-Russian military-to-military contacts provided by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford on May 29 at the Brookings Institution. He put a special emphasis on the effectiveness of the communication channel with Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Army General Valery Gerasimov," the statement continues. "Fortunately, the channel does not need any "support" of the media, otherwise we would risk losing it."
According to the Russian embassy, the article’s author Paul Sonne claims that the Russian embassy "didn’t immediately respond" to his request for comment.
"In truth, neither he nor anyone else from The Washington Post sent a request to our Mission. We are ready to answer pressmen’s questions. In fact, on May 28, we provided The Wall Street Journal correspondent Michael Gordon with clarifications on the CTBT issue that were later reflected in his article. A reason to mislead The Washington Post readers is not clear," the embassy said.
‘Another piece of fake news’
"Moreover, if The Washington Post was really interested in clarifying the Russian position and publishing an objective article (rather than another piece of "fake news" based on extremely controversial assumptions), it should have had a look at Ambassador Antonov’s comment and the statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry on the issue," the embassy continued.
"Mr. Sonne statement that "Washington and Moscow negotiate the future of the New START agreement" also causes confusion. We are not aware of such contacts. It should be noted that a year ago in Helsinki the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin suggested Donald Trump considering the possibility of extending the Treaty after 2021. We have not received any reply yet," it said.
Besides, the embassy cited Tim Morrison, Senior Director at the National Security Council, as saying that that the administration would make a decision on the extension of New START "not earlier than 2020."
"We believe that both the Russian and the US side would be interested to know who and on what authority discuss the future of the agreement," the statement continues. "Perhaps the author of the article should have been more skeptical of Mr. Morrison’s other unprofessional statements. In particular, ‘We shouldn’t presuppose that the Russians are interested in extending the treaty,’ allegedly because of Moscow’s doubts that Washington does not fully adhere to some clauses of New START."
The embassy also reiterated its concerns which it said "have been voiced to Washington for years."
"They should receive a proper reaction on the part of the United States. We emphasize that statements like ‘you must believe that we are honoring our commitments’ are not credible evidence. Especially if they come from the country discredited by baseless allegations," it said.