PYATIGORSK /Stavropol region/, August 22. /TASS/. Moscow, backed by Beijing, has requested the United Nations Security Council to hold a briefing on the United States’ development of intermediate-range missiles, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.
"There were reports that on August 22, the UN Security Council will hold a meeting on the United States’ plans to develop and deploy ground-launched intermediate-range missiles, which was called by Russia and China," she said. "I would like to specify that Russia, backed by China, has requested a UN Security Council briefing on the matter. It is a public event and all Security Council members have the right to make such a request," Zakharova added.
Zakharova announced that the briefing would begin at 15:00 EDT (19:00 GMT). "The request was based on the plans announced by the US, which concern the deployment of intermediate-range missiles to the Asia-Pacific region," the Russian diplomat pointed out. "Clearly, it is only the first step, and in the future, the US may deploy such weapons to other regions of the world, including Europe," she noted.
In this regard, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman emphasized that Washington’s actions posed a threat to global stability. "This is why we believe that it is important to draw the international community’s attention to the issue," Zakharova said. "We have asked UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu to give a report at the briefing. We expect to have an open exchange of views with our colleagues," she concluded.
The US Department of Defense said in a statement on Monday that on August 18, the US "conducted a flight test of a conventionally-configured ground-launched cruise missile at San Nicolas Island, California." "The test missile exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target after more than 500 kilometers of flight. Data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform the Department of Defense's development of future intermediate-range capabilities," the Pentagon added.
On August 2, Washington formally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987. 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.
Following Washington’s withdrawal, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that the Treaty had been terminated at the United States’ initiative.