PRAGUE, September 26. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal to introduce a moratorium on the deployment of intermediate-and shorter-range missiles in Europe and other regions is aimed at strengthening global security and preserving peace, leading Slovak security expert, Head of Comenius Analytica international think tank Vladimir Bacisin told TASS on Thursday.
"The Russian president’s initiative is extremely timely," the Slovak expert stressed.
"The Russian leader’s proposal is aimed at strengthening global security, in general, and ensuring durable peace in Europe, in particular. I believe any reasonable person will welcome this initiative," he added.
The Slovak expert recalled the Soviet Union’s peace initiatives.
"Very similar proposals were put forward by Soviet leaders in the 1960s and 1970s. Have a century ago, the USSR and the USA were successfully reaching agreements on reducing various types of armaments. This process was started by [Soviet leader] Nikita Khrushchev who met with US President John Kennedy in Vienna on June 4, 1961. Slovakia remembers this event very well because Khrushchev preferred to stay at the time in the Slovakian town of Smolenice located at a distance of about 100 km from the capital of Austria," the expert said.
The Slovak expert said he was confident that the leaders of the states who had received the Russian president’s letter with the moratorium proposal would positively respond to it.
"We very much need a new stage of global disarmament. A constructive inter-state dialogue on security issues is needed. Without this dialogue, there is a high probability that ‘cold war No. 2’ in Europe may exacerbate and grow into a tougher phase. The implementation of [the Russian president’s] initiative will considerably help reduce and eliminate these risks," Bacisin stressed.
Russian president’s initiative
Russia’s Kommersant daily reported on Wednesday, citing its own sources that 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 other regions.
According to the paper’s data, the Russian leader also sent these messages to a whole number of non-NATO states, in particular, to China. EU diplomacy head Federica Mogherini and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also received the Russian leader’s letter with the moratorium proposal, the paper said.
On August 2, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was officially terminated at the initiative of the US. 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 has been rejecting these accusations, saying that the technical parameters of the 9M729 missiles are within the parameters allowed by the treaty and laying counterclaims to Washington.
Russian President Putin gave instructions on August 23 to analyze the threat level in the wake of the US tests of a new cruise missile modification on August 18 and prepare a symmetric response.