MOSCOW, 26 October (BelTA) - Russia reaffirms its commitment to the moratorium on the deployment of medium- and short-range land-based missiles, reads the statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin on additional steps to de-escalate the situation in Europe in the post Intermediate-Range Missile Treaty world, the text of which has been sent to BelTA.
“The Russian Federation continues to believe that the INF Treaty was a cornerstone of the international security and strategic stability architecture. The treaty played a special role in maintaining predictability and restraint in terms of missile weapons in Europe. We consider the withdrawal of the United States from the INF Treaty, which ended the treaty, a serious mistake that increases the risks of unleashing a missile arms race, increasing confrontational potential and sliding towards uncontrolled escalation. Given the relentless tensions between Russia and NATO, new threats to pan-European security are evident,” the statement said.
In these circumstances, active efforts are needed to reduce the credibility deficit, strengthen regional and global stability, and reduce the risks arising from misunderstandings and disagreements over missile weapons. In this context, we reaffirm our commitment to the moratorium on the deployment of land-based ICBMs by the Russian Federation until similar U.S.-made missile weapons get deployed in the regions concerned,” the document states. “We also believe that our call on NATO countries to consider a reciprocal moratorium remains relevant.”
In order to facilitate the search for political and diplomatic compromises, Russia is ready for further steps to minimize the negative impact of the termination of the INF Treaty based on the principles of equal and indivisible security and balanced consideration of the interests of the parties. “Based on our earlier proposal to develop a control toolkit in support of the Russian reciprocal moratorium initiative, we invite all stakeholders to consider options for reciprocal verification measures to address the existing concerns,” the document reads. “In particular, these can be verification measures regarding the Aegis Ashore complexes equipped with the MK 41 launching systems at U.S. and NATO bases in Europe and also the 9M729 missiles at the Russian military facilities in the Kaliningrad region. The purpose of verification activities would be to confirm the absence of land-launched ICBM facilities and also the weapons on which characteristics and classification the parties failed to agree (Russian missile 9M729). While staying committed to the consistent position that the 9M729 missile is in full compliance with the terminated INF Treaty, Russia nevertheless is prepared to act in accordance with good will and to refrain from deploying the 9M729 missiles on its European territory, but on the condition of reciprocal steps by NATO countries, which will rule out the deployment in Europe of weapons that were prohibited under the INF Treaty,” the statement said.
Russia also calls on all interested countries to seek ways to maintain stability and prevent missile crises “in the post INF Treaty world” in the Asia-Pacific region.