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‘Short-sighted steps’: Russian intel chief slams US for deep-sixing arms control deals

Russia's senior official meant the US decision to abandon commitments to the INF Treaty, in particular
Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Chief Sergei Naryshkin Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS
Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Chief Sergei Naryshkin
© Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS

MOSCOW, September 17. /TASS/. Washington’s aggressive and short-sighted steps, particularly, its decision to abandon commitments to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, are alarming, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Sergei Naryshkin said at a roundtable devoted to the history of the Soviet nuclear project.

"A clear understanding of the fact that a direct nuclear conflict will inevitably cause if not the destruction but a significant and tragic degradation of our civilization nonetheless cools off even the hottest heads," Naryshkin pointed out. "To maintain this system, it is crucial to ensure unconditional compliance with nuclear non-proliferation rules, while nuclear powers must be led by responsible and reasonable forces," he stressed.

"In this regard, the United States’ aggressive and short-sighted steps, first and foremost, the withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the Iran nuclear deal, as well as the recent decision to abandon its commitments to the INF Treaty, cause concern," the Russian military intelligence chief emphasized.

Naryshkin noted that any imbalance of power inevitably generates a lack of culpability. "It is enough to recall the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where the US military command, fueled by a feeling of immunity, used nuclear weapons against hundreds of thousands of civilians, committing one of the most horrendous crimes in human history," he specified.

"Today, just like 70 years ago, cutting-edge hi-tech deterrent tools serve as a guarantee of Russia’s security," the SVR director stressed. German, British and American physicists deliberately cooperated with Russian intelligence agencies, he noted, pointing out that their fears about the West’s monopoly on the most powerful and deadliest weapons had not been groundless. Naryshkin said that Russia’s research institutions and intelligence agencies had accumulated a unique wealth of experience in cooperation. "This kind of cooperation continues to this day. I am sure that it will help our country remain at the forefront of technical and technological progress, also remaining impervious to foreign dictates and external threats," Naryshkin noted.

"Nuclear parity turned out to be beneficial for all of humanity," he concluded.