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US fails to prove Russia 'breached' INF, security chief says

Washington "needed a pretext for pulling out of the treaty" and they found it, Nikolai Patrushev said

MOSCOW, August 6. /TASS/. Washington has not presented a single shred of evidence to Moscow that might prove Russia is in breach of the Intermediate Nuclear Force Treaty and at the same time refused to discuss its own violations, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev told the Russian mass media in an interview.

"I am unable to mention a single instance [of a violation] or piece of evidence they [the US] presented to us. There has been nothing of the sort," Patrushev said when asked if the United States had presented any proof of Moscow’s violations of the treaty.

"We held meetings with our US counterparts. I met with [White House National Security Adviser John] Bolton. Russia’s president [Vladimir Putin] received him, too. We discussed that but received no evidence," Patrushev pointed out. In his opinion, Washington "needed a pretext for pulling out of the treaty, and they found such a pretext for themselves and their partners." "But we do not know anything. We do not know what we have breached. We know what the Americans have violated and we pointed to these three issues: missile launchers, target missiles and drones. But they refused to discuss their violations," Patrushev said.

He said that in accusing Russia of INF violations, the United States hinted at the missile 9M729. "I believe that they spoke about it with their partners," Patrushev said. He stressed that Moscow had invited Washington to take a look at the missile "behind closed doors" to get "thorough information about it" and see for themselves that this weapon does not violate the INF Treaty. "They refused," Patrushev noted. He recalled that after that Russia arranged for an open multilateral demonstration of this missile in Patriot Park, where many foreign delegations arrived, the United States did not participate in this event and advised its NATO partners against going there, too."

Withdrawing from treaties

By withdrawing from arms reduction treaties, the United States seeks to ensure its global dominance, accroding to Patrushev.

He pointed out that the US had first pulled out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and then out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. "Only the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) still remains in effect but they [the Americans - TASS] have already said they were considering leaving it in 2021," he noted, adding that there also was the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and "these are the aspects that still contain them [the Americans - TASS]."

Patrushev noted that Washington was pulling out of treaties "in order to ensure its global dominance." "As long as these treaties are effective, they [the Americans] won’t dominate any part of the world. But when treaties collapse, they will deploy any number of weapons to any region, against any country they will consider to be their adversary, seeking to ensure their dominance," Patrushev said, noting that achieving dominance was the goal mentioned in many US strategic dominance.

"It will lead to chaos because other countries will respond to these things and an arms race will go on," the Russian Security Council secretary pointed out.

Patrushev noted that August 6 marked an anniversary of the US nuclear bombing of Japan’s Hiroshima. "Why did it happen? Because they had dominance, they knew that no country would be able to strike back. They should not be allowed to dominate and believe that no one can respond to their actions," Patrushev pointed out. He stressed that Russia’s development of new weapons "makes it possible to hold dialogue with the US and promote" Moscow’s interests.

Multilateral treaty

A multilateral intermediate-range and shorter-range missile control treaty should take into account the French and British arsenals, however, the United States is yet to express willingness to allow that, Patrushev said.

"Speaking about an intermediate-range and shorter-range missile treaty, the Americans were saying that it would be beneficial if it was multilateral, with China included in it as one of the sides. But we are aware of the Chinese statement, they do not wish to participate in this process and, therefore, it is delusory to hope that we will ink such a multilateral treaty," he said. At the same time, Patrushev added the following: "why should only China [be involved], since it’s a multilateral treaty?" he said. "Why are the UK and France not considered?" He underlined that Moscow had outlined this topic, however, "the US is ready to include China, which China is not striving for, and is not willing to consider" the UK and France.

Talks with US on strategic stability

Russia hopes for positive steps at negotiations with the United States on strategic stability and believes that the defense agencies of both countries should take part in this process, Patrushev said.

"I hope that we will achieving success after all in the process of the talk on both strategic stability and international security," the security chief said.

It is very important that Russian and US Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump "raise the issue of strategic stability during each encounter or talk," Patrushev said. "This gives the hope that this theme will be discussed and some positive steps will follow," he pointed out.

The leaders of both countries have given instructions to their diplomatic agencies to hold a dialogue on this issue, he said. "Representatives of our diplomatic agency are exceptionally competent, as well as their counterparts in the United States. Of course, each side will be safeguarding its interests but I believe that they will also be interested that global security should persist," the Russian security chief said.

Instructions will also be issued to the security services of both counties to cooperate, Patrushev said. "They are not cooperating in all the areas but this cooperation is expanding and I believe will continue expanding."

The issue of strategic stability is also constantly raised during all the contacts of the staff of Russia’s Security Council with the US side, he said. "That is why, we will keep discussing this issue," the head of Russia’s Security Council said.

"Besides, I believe it is very important that this issue should be discussed in contacts between the defense agencies of both countries. I believe that these agencies are exceptionally competent and can yield a large positive effect from the viewpoint of strategic stability," Patrushev stressed.

INF Treaty issue

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987, took effect on June 1, 1988. It applied to deployed and non-deployed ground-based missiles of intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers). Washington repeatedly accused Russia of violating the accord, but Moscow vehemently dismissed all accusations and, in its turn, expressed grievances over Washington’s non-compliance.

On February 1, 2019, US President Donald Trump and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced the suspension of Washington’s obligations under the INF starting on February 2.

On August 2, Washington formally withdrew from the INF Treaty and the Russian Foreign Ministry, in turn, officially confirmed that the Treaty had been terminated at the United States’ initiative.


New START, which came into force in 2011, limits Russia and the US to no more than 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and strategic bombers, no more than 1,550 deployed warheads and 800 deployed and non-deployed launchers.

The Treaty is set to remain in effect for ten years (until 2021) unless a new document is signed to replace it. The document can also be extended for no more than five years (that is, until 2026) by mutual agreement of the parties.