“Responsibility is entirely on the American side”: Putin warned of the consequences of a unilateral US withdrawal from the INF Treaty
The unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the INF Treaty was destroyed by one of the fundamental documents regulating arms control. This was stated by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The head of state noted that in this way Washington has canceled out many years of efforts aimed at reducing the likelihood of large-scale armed conflicts. At the same time, Moscow will continue to honor its obligations and will develop, produce and deploy missiles of medium and shorter ground-based missiles only as mirror steps to the appropriate actions of Washington, Putin added.
The unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF) creates fundamental risks for the whole world. This was stated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“The one-sided, under a far-fetched pretext, the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty, the destruction of one of the fundamental documents in the field of arms control seriously complicated the situation in the world, gave rise to fundamental risks for all. I emphasize that the responsibility for what happened is entirely on the American side, ”he said.
According to him, the United States "simply canceled out many years of efforts" aimed at reducing the risk of large-scale conflict. Putin stressed that the "declaration of peace" on the part of the United States is not provided with anything, and therefore instructed the Ministry of Defense, the Foreign Ministry and the Foreign Intelligence Service to monitor the development and production of Washington medium and short range missiles.
Thus, according to the instructions of the president, if information is received that the United States has completed the development or started the production of such systems, Russia will be forced to “start the full-scale development” of similar missiles.
“Until such systems are commissioned by the Russian army, the real threats arising for Russia in connection with the US withdrawal from the Treaty on Medium and Shorter-Range Missiles will be reliably fought off by the means we already have: air-launched Kh-101 and Dagger missiles , sea-based "Caliber", as well as promising complexes, including hypersonic systems such as "Zircon", - said the head of state.
Putin also explained that Russia continues to adhere to its obligations, and all further actions will be “exclusively responsive, mirror-like”.
“This concerns the development, production and deployment of medium and shorter ground-based missiles. We will not place them in those regions until the mid-range and short-range missiles of American production are deployed there, ”Putin added.
The medium and shorter range missiles have a minimum time to reach the target and are designed to disarm the enemy, reminded Alexei Podberezkin, director of the Center for Military-Political Studies of the MGIMO. In a conversation with RT, he explained that the presence and deployment of such systems provokes a pre-emptive strike.
“At one time, the treaty was directed against the means that were capable of delivering a sudden disarming strike, when the near-time was reduced to a minimum. Accordingly, this provoked a forward strike. Missiles threatened strategic stability. And now this criterion is absolutely undermined by the actions of the United States. Washington’s position on the INF Treaty cannot but bother Moscow, because, in fact, it is a provocation, ”he said.
"Written off by American colleagues in the archive"
Recall the intention to withdraw from the United States INF Treaty announced in the autumn of 2018. In early 2019, they officially announced their withdrawal from the treaty. According to the procedure, after that he had to go through a six-month period. On August 2, the INF Treaty became invalid.
“Thus, from August 2, 2019, the INF Treaty no longer exists. It was written off by American colleagues in the archive and remained only in history, ”stated Putin.
Russia has repeatedly taken initiatives to discuss mutual claims on the issue of compliance with the INF. Thus, the United States claims that Russian missiles 9M729 violate the provisions of the treaty. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation arranged a briefing for foreign military attaches, during which the technical characteristics of the rocket were demonstrated, indicating its compliance with the agreement. However, representatives of the United States and several other NATO countries did not attend.
Moscow also draws attention to the violation of the treaty by Washington. According to the Russian position, the INF squadron forces violate the Mk41 missile defense systems launched in Eastern Europe and capable of launching Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Putin stressed that the United States, instead of discussing existing differences, "canceled out many years of efforts" aimed at reducing the risks of military conflict with the use of nuclear weapons. With its actions, Washington threatens the entire system of global security, including the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, explained the President of Russia.
“Such a scenario means the resumption of an unrestrained arms race. And in order to avoid chaos, in which there are no rules, restrictions and laws, it is necessary to weigh all possible dangerous consequences once again and begin a serious dialogue without ambiguities and in essence, ”Putin stressed.
Unsubstantiated accusations against Russia were a reason for quitting the INF mode, says Sergey Tsekov, a member of the international affairs committee of the Federation Council.
“In this case, the United States pursues its goals under false pretenses. The Russian side, despite the actions of Washington, has always called for the preservation of the treaty. Preoccupation with this situation is present not only in Russia, but also in the entire international community, ”he told RT.
The US withdrawal from the INF Treaty worsens the atmosphere for international relations, as it provokes the growth of countries' distrust of each other, the First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs Dmitry Novikov emphasized.
“PRSMD meant the actual reduction of the military threat, the formation of such an international climate, when the threat of war is reduced to a minimum. In this case, a one-sided exit of the United States from the INF Treaty strikes at both these positions. On the one hand, there is now an incentive for the arms race. On the other hand, this is shaping the general climate of mistrust and suspicion on the world stage, ”he said in an interview with RT.