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    The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Smolenskaya-Sennaya Square in Moscow

    Moscow Presents List of Violations of Arms Control, Disarmament Treaties by US

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    The Russian Foreign Ministry on Saturday criticized the recent report by the US Department of State, which accused some countries of violations in the spheres of arms control and non-proliferation without providing any facts to support the claims.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian Foreign Ministry on Saturday commented on US breaches of arms control treaties, in the follow-up to an US report on implementation of such agreements by other countries.

    BACKGROUND

    According to the ministry, on Tuesday, the US Department of State published a report on implementation of agreements in the spheres of arms control and non-proliferation by different countries.

    The ministry added that the US report accused some states of violations of such international accords without any reasons. At the same time, the authors of the publication "made an attempt" to show that the United States was almost the only state adhering to such treaties.

    The Russian ministry voiced concern with the way Washington had addressed the issue and listed a number of US actions in order to provide an unbiased assessment of "the real state of affairs" in implementation of arms control and non-proliferation agreements, according to the statement.

    MISSILE ISSUES

    The issues related to the international agreements related to both missile systems and missile defense systems played an important role in the comment of the Russian ministry. In the statement, Moscow cited the situation with the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty and the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF).

    Speaking about the ABM, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that after Washington's withdrawal from the treaty in 2001, the United States had significantly strengthened its positions in the spheres related to the missile defense. Moscow's concerns are related to the US refusal to provide Russia with the guarantees that its missile defense system in Europe do not target Russia and that the United States has lost a reason for the creation of this system after Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, including Russia and the United States, have reached an agreement on Tehran's nuclear program.

    "The presence of a missile defense shield may lead to a harmful illusion of invincibility and impunity, and thus create a temptation in 'hot heads' in Washington for new dangerous unilateral steps in settling global and regional problems without the UN Security Council and against common sense, as it was done on April 7… when the United States carried out a missile strike on a sovereign state of Syria," the statement said.

    Speaking about the INF, the Russian ministry said that Washington is making knowingly false statements about its compliance with the treaty and ignores the concerns of Moscow.

    "Washington gives knowingly false information about its 'compliance' with the INF treaty. For years, the United States has been simply ignoring Russia's deep concerns that are directly related to the implementation of the INF treaty by the US side," the statement said.

    The ministry added that Washington's plans to deploy in Poland systems able to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles, similar to the MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems were "a gross violation" of the INF.

    At the same time the foreign service added that Moscow was concerned over the use of unconfirmed information about Russia's compliance with the INF.

    "The United States have launched a public campaign on absolutely unfounded accusations of Russia of the NPT violations. [According to the campaign,] our country allegedly produces and tests ground-based cruise missiles prohibited under the Treaty. No arguments that could back the allegations against us have been voiced. The 'information' handed by the US side that allegedly allows to clarify what it is all about, in fact is just fragmentary signals, which do not show on what exactly US unsustainable concerns are based," the statement said.

    Yet another Moscow's concern is related to the potential use of such unfounded information as a pretext for possible retaliatory measures.

    "The situation when representatives of several US agencies use such 'facts' as pretext to launch yet another campaign as for possible use of 'retaliatory measures' against Russia gives rise to serious concerns," the ministry added.

    NUCLEAR-RELATED ISSUES

    As the nuclear arms are the most destructive weapons in the world, the issue of treaties related to the use of them, such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that was signed in 1968, was also mentioned in the ministry's statement.

    The ministry refuted the claims about the alleged growth of Russia's nuclear threat.

    "A baseless and false thesis on the growth of 'Russian nuclear threat' has been circulated. The provisions of our military doctrine on the use of nuclear weapons were deliberately distorted. Western public is being persistently told that Russia was allegedly reviewing its position on the role of nuclear weapons and making a greater emphasis on it. All of these claims are untrue," the statement said.

    According to the ministry's comment, the United States have recently launched a large-scale campaign to renew its nuclear arsenal, including nuclear weapons located on the territories of other states.

    "The United States plans to deploy in Europe new nuclear air bombs with reduced capacity but enhanced accuracy. Such characteristics allow to significantly reduce the 'threshold' of nuclear weapon use," the statement said.

    Speaking about the so-called joint nuclear missions carried out by NATO with participation of non-nuclear European members of the alliance, the ministry said that such missions violate the NPT.

    "These 'missions' include the elements of nuclear planning and training of practical skills of the use of nuclear weapons with the aid of carrier aircraft, their crews, infrastructure of airfields and ground services of NATO's non-nuclear states. This is a direct violation of the Articles I and II of the NPT," the statement said.

    Yet another accord related to the nuclear weapons that was mentioned in the statement was the 2000 Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (PMDA). In 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to halt the agreement citing Washington's hostile actions and inability to fulfill US commitments to dispose of surplus weapons-grade plutonium. At the same time, the ministry added that Moscow was ready to consider reactivation of the bilateral accord if the United States complied with an agreed method of disposition.

    "The Russian side is ready to consider the possibility of reactivation of the PMDA if the US side eliminates the causes that led to a radical change of conditions that were in effect at the moment, when the agreement came into force. [Such consideration could take place], including if the United States will adhere to the agreed method of disposal [of weapons-grade plutonium]," the ministry's comment said.

    One more issue related to the nuclear sphere and mentioned in the statement was the decision of US banks to freeze a Russian tranche allocated to finance a humanitarian project of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). According to the ministry, the banks' move could be regarded as abuse and caused harm to the United Nations.

    INSPECTIONS AND DETERRENCE

    The Treaty on Open Skies signed in 1992 and the 2011 Vienna Document were also mentioned in the report of the Russian Foreign Ministry. Both treaties are the security building measures aimed at inspections of military activities and exchange of military information between the parties to the accords.

    Moscow said that US accusations of Russia of alleged non-compliance with the Treaty on Open Skies is accompanied with Washington's silence in the issues related to the violations of the treaty by itself, as well as by its allies.

    "It is not the first time, when the US side repeats a set of trite accusations, alleging that Russia do not comply with the Treaty on Open Skies… Unfortunately, the United States keep quiet about the violations and about the problems with adherence to the treaty on the part of the United States, their NATO allies as well as of other countries 'close' to them," the statement said.

    The ministry added that Ukraine's attempts to hold inspections of Russia's southwestern Crimea under the Vienna Document were "provocative and futile" as Crimea was a part of Russia and Moscow could deploy troops and military equipment on its own territory. At the same time Moscow is ready to welcome international inspectors in Crimea, if requested under the Vienna Document.

    "As for repeated accusations under the Vienna Document (as well as the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe) of 'occupation,' 'annexation' of Crimea and deployment of troops there 'without consent of an accepting party,' the peninsula rejoined Russia is a result of a free expression of will of its multinational population… Russia is definitely ready to accept inspectors, observers and assessment groups in Crimea in case the corresponding requests under the Vienna Document are submitted," the statement said.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry added that the United States and its NATO allies had been implementing the policy of containing Russia at the same time accusing Moscow of unwillingness to participate in renewal of regime of confidence-building measures in Europe.

    "In recent years, the United States and NATO have in fact set a course for 'deterrence' of Russia and further change of balance in the European region in their own interests, including in the direct proximity to the Russian borders, despite the fact that they voice adherence to 'preservation, strengthening and modernization of conventional arms control in Europe,'" the statement said.

    The ministry added that the development of a new the conventional arms control mechanism in Europe should be based on the principles of equal and indivisible security and should be considered in the context of "NATO's abandonment of its measures of military 'deterrence' of Russia in Europe" and the efforts aimed at normalization of ties with Moscow.

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    Tags:
    arms control, Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), Russian Foreign Ministry, United States, Russia
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