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US steps to ruin INF Treaty will backfire on Washington - senior Russian diplomat

Sergei Ryabkov noted that Washington’s decision to pull out from the INF Treaty would have the most negative effects on global strategic security

MOSCOW, August 2. /TASS/. The United States’ steps to dismantle a number of crucial arms control agreements, including the Intermediate Nuclear Force Treaty, will eventually backfire on Washington, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told TASS in an interview.

He said Washington’s decision to pull out from the INF Treaty would have the most negative effects on global strategic security.

"It reflects Washington’s systemic policy of ruining a number crucial arms control agreements," Ryabkov said. "It is also a sure sign the United States has opted for creating prerequisites for hopefully attaining decisive advantages in this field, which will by no means enhance strategic stability or give the United States a firmer foothold, because in the final count it will have a backlash effect."

"If somebody in Washington has the delusion stronger pressure on certain countries which the Americans for some reason refuse to recognize as partners will achieve the desired effects, such people are fundamentally wrong," Ryabkov said. "No opportunities for attaining such supremacy will be created, while the confrontation potential and the risk of triggering a new arms race will soar. For this reason we regret this decision. We have repeatedly warned the Americans against it and many times called for lifting mutual concerns through a dialogue."

The senior Russian diplomat said that Moscow’s grievances against Washington by far outnumbered US claims towards Russia. Also, Russia’s arguments were far more solid.

"Over many years we explained the Americans in very clear terms why their target missiles, heavy attack drones and Aegis Ashore systems in Europe, and now not only in Europe, configured for launching intermediate range Tomahawk missiles, constituted violations of the INF Treaty," Ryabkov recalled. "Our approaches and our arguments were dismissed."

Instead, a number of far-fetched claims were put forward against Russia, Ryabkov said.

"They were nothing but a pretext. The fuss over the cruise missile 9M729 the United States and NATO indulge in these days is just a smoke screen hiding the real motives of this step the Americans have taken," Ryabkov said. "The motives are precisely those I mentioned at the beginning - getting rid of the restrictions the treaty imposes and trying to create preconditions for a military-technical breakthrough in this sensitive sphere."

Earlier, US presidential national security adviser John Bolton confirmed that Washington would officially withdraw from the INF Treaty on August 2.