MOSCOW, June 24. /TASS/. The global situation in the strategic stability field arouses concerns, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the Moscow Conference on International Security on Thursday.
"The situation in the field of strategic stability is very alarming. A serious blow to the entire system of control over missile and nuclear arms was dealt by Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty)," Lavrov said.
In the light of this, Russia was surprised by the lack of a clear response of NATO member-states to a proposal put forward by Russian President Vladimir Putin to prevent the deployment of land-based missiles of this class in Europe, both nuclear and non-nuclear, he noted.
Russia’s top diplomat recalled that the Russian president also proposed to the Western states to agree on verification methods, but the West prefers to ignore this initiative.
The INF Treaty, which prohibited Moscow and Washington from having ground-based ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of 500 kilometers to 5,500 kilometers, was signed in 1987. The US suspended the treaty in February 2019 citing alleged Russian violations. It was formally terminated in August 2019. In September 2019, it was announced that Putin had invited the leaders of a number of countries, including NATO members, to impose a moratorium on the deployment of such missiles in Europe and other regions, but the United States rejected that initiative.