WASHINGTON, September 18. /TASS/. Possible deployment of US ground-based intermediate-range missiles in Asia will affect Russia’s national security interests and will put its nuclear deterrence potential at risk, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said in an interview with Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review. The text was posted on the Russian embassy’s Facebook about on Friday.
"The possible deployment of US intermediate-range ground-based missiles in Asia will not only upset the military-political balance in the region and global strategic stability, but will also directly affect Russia’s national security interests. The fact is that this region is located near the Russian borders, naval facilities and the bases of the Pacific Fleet where submarine strategic forces are based. The deployment of new US systems there will put our nuclear deterrent at risk," he said.
"The American partners, perhaps, should carefully weigh all the destabilizing consequences of such a step fraught with further escalation of tension and an arms race," he noted. "We are interested neither in escalating tension either in the Asia-Pacific region or anywhere else in the world, nor in the beginning of an economically destructive arms race. I hope the United States and its regional allies share this approach. We are ready to work together - our proposals remain on the table."
According to the Russian diplomat, the United States’ withdrawal from the Russian-US INF Treaty in August 2019 led to "the collapse of this important for global stability and security Treaty." "As a result, this erroneous US step has complicated efforts to avert the escalation of the missile arms race," he added.
"I would like to stress that Russia has taken concrete steps to prevent the situation from sliding into a crisis. In February 2019, our country made unilateral commitments not to field ground-based intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles in any region of the world - including Asia - until American systems of this kind are deployed there," he stressed. "We regret that the Russian initiative to introduce similar moratoriums was categorically rejected by the United States and its NATO allies. Moreover, the Pentagon is rapidly developing and has already tested twice systems previously prohibited under the INF Treaty. US officials periodically declare their intention to deploy such missiles in the Asia-Pacific region as soon as possible.".