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    'A Convenient Excuse': US Making Up Reasons for Arms Control Deal Pullout

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    Threats by US Congressmen to pull out of a landmark 1987 arms control treaty which prevents the proliferation of certain types of missiles are just an excuse to deploy missiles in the Middle East and Asia, Retired Russian Major-General Pavel Zolotaryov said.

    Attempts by US Congressmen to impose more sanctions against Russia, alleging violations of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, are simply an opportunistic attempt to wriggle out of the treaty's obligations, Retired Russian Major-General Pavel Zolotaryov, member of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, said.

    The INF was an agreement between the US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev, which required the destruction of ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.

    On Friday, US Republican lawmaker Ed Royce, chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, proposed an amendment to the annual defense policy bill would allow the US to impose more sanctions against Russia. Royce accuses Moscow of violating the treaty by deploying a new cruise missile, a charge which Moscow denies. 

    Last month, the US House Armed Services Committee unveiled its $696.5 billion defense policy bill, which included the possible suspension of the long-held nuclear treaty between the two countries. The bill put together by the committee would make it US policy that Russia is in violation of the INF treaty and states that the US is legally entitled to suspend the treaty as a consequence, The Hill reported.

    Retired Russian Major-General Pavel Zolotaryov, member of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, told RT that US threats to pull out of the treaty coincide with Washington's attempts to build up military might in the Middle East and Asia.

    "American carrier battle groups are vulnerable to China, which has medium- and short-range missiles. I think that the Americans are thinking of placing illegal land-based missiles on Japanese islands. In addition, the deployment of missiles in the Middle East will 'hold back' Iran."

    The US wants to pull out of the treaty but it needs an excuse to do so, Zolotaryov said.

    "Such a decision has not been taken at the official level. As a result there are legislative proposals whose intellectual level leave something to be desired. The accusations against Russia are a convenient excuse for terminating the agreement."

    "I very much doubt that Moscow could have violated the INF Treaty. The Americans' lack of specifics in their accusations only reinforces my confidence. At the same time, as I understand, the US itself plans to develop Pershing III – an improved version of the ballistic missile which stood at our borders," Zolotaryov warned.

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    Tags:
    arms control, nuclear non-proliferation, INF, weapons of mass destruction, weapons, United States, Russia
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