MOSCOW, July 3. /TASS/. Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton distorts information in his memoirs about a dialogue with Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Colonel-General Alexander Fomin said on Friday.
Russia’s Defense Ministry paid attention to Bolton’s memoirs published last week where he comments, among other, on the situation with the INF Treaty and the discussion of this issue with Russian Defense Minister Army General Shoigu, the deputy defense minister said.
"In principle, it is not accepted in the practice of negotiations to disclose the content of confidential discussions without the consent of the other side. Considering that the author of the memoirs allowed himself to ignore these rules, it would be fair to comment on his pronouncements, all the more so as the evaluations he gives considerably distort real events," Fomin said.
"He says that Russia allegedly supported the US deliberations that the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty had lost its significance, especially due to the considerable development of China’s missile and nuclear program. We, however, believe that the US exit from this treaty was planned in advance and the accusations that Russia breached it are unfounded," the deputy defense minister said.
As for Bolton’s claim about an increased threat from China, the Russian deputy defense minister characterized it as a banal ‘manipulation’ of facts.
"We do not consider China’s activity in the missile sphere as a security threat and, all the more so, as a reason for dismantling the INF Treaty," the deputy defense minister said.
Such an interpretation of facts suggests that the Russia-China strategic partnership that has currently reached the highest level in the entire history of bilateral relations causes the memoirs author "heartburn," Fomin said.
The colonel-general stressed that "the United States bears full responsibility for the treaty’s dismantling."
Over a long period of time, the United States has been persistently pursuing the policy of giving up its arms control commitments to ensure conditions for its military dominance, the Russian deputy defense minister said.
"The US side withdrew from the ABM Treaty in 2002 and from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran in 2018 and, as you also know, the United States made a decision in 2019 to pull out from the INF Treaty and currently the US position threatens the Treaty on Open Skies (the US announced its decision to quit it) and the New START Treaty," the deputy defense minister said.
The Russian defense official also dwelt on the situation with the INF Treaty. "We view the US exit from this treaty as erroneous while the claims the United States made to Russia as solely far-fetched," he said.
On August 2, 2019, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was officially terminated at the US initiative. The US claimed that its actions were provoked by Russia’s refusal to comply with the American ultimatum-like demand to eliminate the new 9M729 cruise missiles, which, as Washington and its NATO allies believe, violate the INF Treaty. Moscow rejected these accusations, saying that the technical parameters of the 9M729 missiles were within the characteristics allowed by the treaty and laying counterclaims to Washington.