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Russia worried over US’ developing cruise missile program — senior diplomat

Moscow is getting ready for any scenario in the face of the potential deployment of medium- and shorter-range missiles in Europe by the United States
The Russian Foreign Ministry  Marina Lystseva/TASS
The Russian Foreign Ministry
© Marina Lystseva/TASS

MOSCOW, October 29. /TASS/. Moscow is keeping an eye on Washington’s developing its cruise missiles program, which causes serious concern, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said on Tuesday.

"We see that the United States is developing a program for the production of cruise missiles with the use of MK-41 launching systems. We are seriously concerned over it because these are universal systems and one such system has already been tested," he said. "By now, 24 such systems have been deployed in Romania and another 48 will be deployed in Poland next year."

According to Grushko, the United States’ dovish statements inspire no trust. "We thoroughly analyze the signals that are sent to us, in particular from the NATO capitals, with their common position of unwillingness to deploy ground-based intermediate- and smaller-range nuclear missiles," he noted.

Moscow is getting ready for any scenario in the face of the potential deployment of medium- and shorter-range missiles in Europe by the United States, Alexander Grushko went on.

"We need to be prepared for any scenario, the more so since the United States announced plans to test ballistic missiles next year," he said responding to a question on the issue.

"We have military-technical capacities to be geared up for any developments," Grushko stressed.

"It is clear that, since the US made a decision to make these missiles, it is going to deploy them somewhere. I believe I will not make a mistake if I say that they [the Americans] hardly view the United States’ territory as a foothold for deploying these missiles. That means that these missiles will be deployed somewhere in close proximity to Russia’s territory," he went on to say.

Grushko underscored that this is very important for Moscow. Taking into account the geographical factor, any medium- and shorter-range missiles deployed by the US are strategic for Russia, he noted. "That decreases the time required for making decisions and is a substantial destabilizing factor not only for regional security, but also for strategic stability in general," he concluded.

Russia hopes that those countries that are not willing to deploy American intermediate- and smaller-range missiles on their territories will support Russia’s moratorium initiative, the deputy foreign minister claimed.

"We hope that the voice of reason will gain the upper hand and those countries that don’t want to turn their territories into a beachhead for American missiles will react to our initiative positively. It is about a moratorium on deploying missiles in certain regions," he said.

It was reported in late September that Russian President Vladimir Putin had sent a proposal to the leaders of several countries, including NATO member states, to introduce a moratorium on deploying intermediate- and shorter-range missiles in Europe and in other regions. Such messages were also addressed to a range of non-NATO states, in particular, to China.

Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Geneva office, Andrei Belousov, stated at a meeting of the UN General Assembly First Committee on October 22 that Russia was ready to unilaterally observe such a moratorium until such weapons of the US make were deployed in corresponding regions.