MOSCOW – US power is in the hands of supporters of a new arms race, but it will not get Russia involved in this process, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a meeting of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy.
“If we look at Washington’s actions in this area, we can conclude that proponents of a new arms race prevail,” said the head of Russian diplomacy.
Lavrov recalled that Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly highlighted this trend.
“I want to emphasize that they will not be able to involve Russia in this costly exercise,” the minister said.
Lavrov has denounced that the United States is committed to “destroying” all existing arms control agreements, including the Treaty on Short- and Medium-range Missiles (INF), and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
If the United States gets what it wants, the consequences will be disastrous for other existing mechanisms for disarmament and non-proliferation.
“It is important not to allow the scenario that is expressed in the familiar formula of ‘no one wanted war, but war was inevitable’. We are trying to work with all our partners as closely and effectively as possible, making proposals to increase predictability and confidence in the area of international security,” the diplomat said.
Lavrov cited the proposal for a Euro-Atlantic security treaty and joint Russian-Chinese initiative to prevent the deployment of weapons into space.
“There are other proposals that remain on the negotiating table… but our colleagues in Washington, Brussels and other Western capitals are not ready for such a professional conversation,” he added.
The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by the then Soviet Union and the US to ban ballistic and cruise missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.
Last October, US President Donald Trump announced that his country would abandon the pact because Moscow allegedly violated the agreement.
Under the START treaty (also known as START III), the US and Russia pledged to reduce their arsenals to 700 missiles and 1,550 nuclear warheads.
Signed in 2010, the agreement entered into force in 2011 for a period of ten years, extendable by another five.
Russian-American talks to extend the treaty stagnated.