MOSCOW, August 24. /TASS/. The Russian delegation plans to raise the issue of Washington’s destruction of the arms control system at the upcoming autumn sessions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), head of the State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs Leonid Slutsky told reporters on Saturday.
State Duma is lower house of the Russian parliament.
"The Russian delegation intends to raise the issue of US aggressive policy to destroy the arms control system at the autumn sessions of the OSCE parliamentary assembly and PACE," he said.
"European parliamentarians should firmly state their position and do everything possible to prevent another missile crisis," he stressed.
Slutsky noted that warnings about a new arms race, which are being voiced by the European Union, should be addressed exclusively to the United States.
The lawmaker recalled that it was the US that was responsible for breaking the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
"The United States has planned a campaign to destroy the treaty in advance to ensure its own military superiority," he said.
"In such circumstances, Russia is forced to take tit-for-tat measures," Slutsky went on. He recalled that President Vladimir Putin had instructed the cabinet to analyze the threat level in the wake of the US test of a new cruise missile modification and take measures to prepare a symmetric response.
"But this does not mean that Moscow is being drawn into a costly arms race," the head of the committee assured.
"In this case, European partners should be more concerned with the possible deployment of American missiles in the territory of the European Union."
"It is Europe that can become a military firing range and even a theater of operations in case of a conflict. Thus, Washington is posing a global threat to the entire European continent," Slutsky warned.
On Friday, President Vladimir Putin gave instructions to analyze the threat level in the wake of the US test of a new cruise missile modification and take measures for preparing a symmetric response.
On August 18, the US conducted a flight test of a conventionally-configured ground-launched cruise missile at San Nicolas Island, California.
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 on the United States’ initiative.
On August 23, speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin called on the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to weigh up the risks of deploying American missiles in European countries.