Attack on Syria Runs Counter to US Law
The US launched a missile strike on Syria contrary to its own legislation, according to Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Vladimir Yermakov.
"One of the leading nuclear powers has conducted a massive missile strike against another state without the mandate of the UN Security Council, contrary to its own legislation and on absolutely cover-up pretext," he elaborated.
The diplomat went on saying that Russia will respond properly to any US attempts to exert pressure.
"We see that over the past fifteen years the military and technological situation has radically changed in favor of Russia. Was it an arms race or a well-conceived high-tech leap? In any case, we have a worthy response to any attempt of forceful pressure from the US," Yermakov said.
The diplomat pointed out that the myth of American overwhelming global dominance had been debunked and Russia had once again staged a comeback as a "guarantor of stability and justice in global affairs on the ground of international law."
"We have a very simple answer — when you [the United States] are ready for such a dialogue, we will agree to engage into it at any time. We have never blocked this possibility for the US side in any way," he stressed.
On April 14, the US jointly with the UK and France authorized a massive missile strike on Syria's military and civilian facilities. The attack came as a response to some media reports, which claimed, citing sources among militants, that Damascus was behind the alleged chemical attack in Douma. Shortly afterwards, Washington and its allies rushed to blame the Syrian government and threaten the country with a punitive strike, though the probe was due to begin later and no solid proof was presented. Neither Russian military experts, nor the Red Crescent found traces of chemical weapons usage in Damascus' suburb.
New START Prolongation Talks Possible After US Adheres to Treaty
Talks about the possible prolongation of the treaty on the Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) between Russia and the United States will be possible only after Washington begins to implement it, Yermakov said.
"The American side behaves indecently within the current treaty. Therefore, it will be possible to say whether they [the US] are capable of prolongation only after they return fully to the fulfillment of the letter and the spirit of the treaty," the diplomat stressed.
The first START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), a bilateral agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union on strategic offensive reductions was signed on July 31, 1991 with a duration of 15 years and an extension option and obliged the signatories to limit the number of warheads and delivery vehicles. The agreement remained in force until it expired in December 2009.
The United States has claimed it met the obligations back in August 2017, but Russia has argued that it could not confirm this.