MOSCOW, November 1. /TASS/. The United States seems to be seeking to break down the entire system of strategic stability, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Rossiya-24 TV channel on Friday.
"The Americans’ recent actions suggest an idea that they would be glad to wreck the entire system of international treaties, at least in the sphere of strategic stability and arms control," Lavrov said. "Look, they ‘buried’ the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in 2002 and did the same to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty this year. Reports are coming that they are about to officially announce withdrawal from the Treaty on Open Skies," he noted.
He also pointed to the fact that Washington had decided not to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and offered no constructive proposals on the extension of the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction) Treaty, which will expire in February 2021.
"I think the international community will ultimately speak up in favor of saving the system that ensures strategic stability, parity and agreements in the sphere of arms control," Lavrov stressed. "At least, at the ongoing United Nations General Assembly session, we submitted a draft resolution calling on countries to seek agreement on new approaches to make it possible for all to feel safer than we do now."
Dialogue on new weapons
Moscow is not rejecting a dialogue with Washington on new weapons unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018, the top Russian diplomat continued.
"Generally, we don't dismiss conversations on new weapons, on new missile technologies, including those that Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in his state-of-the-nation address in 2018," Lavrov said. "We are accused of concealing something. We are not concealing anything, but we are suggesting to discuss this among other issues within the framework of a general extensive conversation about all aspects of strategic stability. This is a very clear position, of which the Americans have been notified," he noted adding that "there has been no reasonable reaction as of yet."
The US insists on involving China in these consultations, Lavrov said. "If China agrees, we will only be happy to expand the format of our consultations and negotiations. However, the question emerges then — and what about the UK and France? And these are only the official nuclear powers," he pointed out.
Moscow is not going to talk Beijing into joining this dialogue, the minister added. "The Chinese partners have told us that the structure of their strategic nuclear forces fundamentally differs from ours and from that of the US. This is true. They are not going to join the talks at the present stage. And that’s it. We respect this position," Lavrov noted.
European security strategy
France and a number of other European nations are starting to understand that the United States is seeking to use them in the interests of its defense sector rather than wanting to protect them, Lavrov said.
"So far, I see no signs that Europeans can speak up against attempts to turn their territory into a territory of an armed conflict, except for maybe the initiatives advanced by French President Emmanuel Macron. We believe that these are reasonable initiatives that are worth to be noted and be discussed as they concern building architecture of security in Europe together with Russia rather than against Russia," the foreign minister explained.
"At the same time, France and a number of other European nations begin to understand that America is seeking to use them in its own interests, first of all, in the interests of its defense sector, and it is not that willing to protect Europe," he said, adding that such fears stem from "certain statements by the American leadership."