MOSCOW, August 5. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Washington’s endeavors to dismantle the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty can result in an unrestrained arms race.
“In our opinion, the United States’ actions, which led to the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, will inevitably entail the weakening and undermining of the entire global security architecture, including the strategic offensive arms treaty and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” the head of state said in a statement released by the Kremlin press service. “This scenario means the resumption of an unrestrained arms race,” Putin stressed.
The US pullout from the INF accord has seriously complicated the situation in the world and created fundamental risks for all countries, according to Putin.
“Russia regrets to state that the unilateral US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Missile Treaty under a far-fetched pretext, and the destruction of one of the fundamental documents in the field of arms control has seriously complicated the situation in the world, creating fundamental risks for everyone,” Putin specified.
The Russian president emphasized that the American side is “solely responsible” for what happened.
“Instead of a thoughtful discussion of international security issues, the United States simply crossed out many years of efforts to reduce the likelihood of a large-scale military conflict, including the use of nuclear weapons,” the Russian leader said.
Putin also said that Moscow is ready to resume full-fledged negotiations with the United States on strategic stability and security.
“Russia deems it necessary to resume without any delay full-fledged negotiations on ensuring strategic stability and security,” the head of state emphasized.
“We are ready for this,” the Russian leader said.
Putin has also instructed the Russian Defense Ministry, the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Foreign Intelligence Service to monitor the steps taken by the US to develop intermediate-and shorter-range missiles.
“Taking into account the current situation, I instruct the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service to monitor the further steps by the US on developing, producing and placing intermediate-and shorter-range missiles closely and carefully,” Putin stated.
The president stressed that Russia cannot ignore the current state of affairs and that it cannot be satisfied with baseless declarations of peace made by US officials.
Putin added that Russia would be forced to start developing intermediate-and shorter-range missiles if it is confident that the United States has launched the production of these weapons.
“In case there is trustworthy information that the US has completed the development and started production of these systems, Russia will be forced to launch a full-fledged development of similar missiles,” Putin pointed out.
Russia will only place intermediate-and shorter-range missiles as a response to corresponding steps by the US, the president noted.
According to the Russian leader, Moscow is not abandoning its unilateral obligations. “All our actions will be of a reactive, tit-for-tat nature. This concerns the development, production and placement of intermediate-and shorter-range ground-based missiles. We will not place them in those regions until US-made intermediate-and shorter-range missiles are placed there,” Putin stressed.