Russian Ambassador in USA Anatoly Antonov’s (photo) answer to a RIA Novosti’s question: Dear Anatoly Ivanovich, how would you comment on the State Department’s report published on January 31, accusing Russia of failing to comply with the New START Treaty?
Anatoly Antonov: First of all, it is noteworthy how quickly this annual report has been prepared. Its previous versions which did not contain “sensational” accusations were usually published in April or even later.
This year, against the backdrop of a frenzied confrontation with Russia initiated by the West, the Administration has been clearly eager to throw at us yet another set of unfounded claims in the area of arms control. And for the first time ever - regarding New START which our country has been irreproachably observing for all these years. Unlike, by the way, Washington, on whose conscience lies the illegitimate removal of more than a hundred strategic weapons from the accountability under the Treaty. Let me stress that these actions concern the central limits of New START, undermining the key goal of the agreement – to maintain the balance of the parties’ strategic offensive arms.
As for the substance of the accusations regarding the temporary exemption of the Russian strategic facilities from the Treaty inspection regime and the postponed session of the Bilateral Consultative Commission, they follow the traditional US pattern. Washington refuses to see the root causes of the problem, shifting the blame to others.
We have repeatedly pointed out to the Administration that the situation with New START is a direct result of the hybrid war unleashed by the West against our country. We have warned that arms control cannot be isolated from geopolitical realities. In the current circumstances we consider it unjustified, untimely and inappropriate to invite the US military to our strategic facilities.
At the same time, Russia remains committed to the goals of the New START Treaty and continues to regard it as a useful instrument for maintaining strategic stability and ensuring predictability in relations between the major nuclear powers. We intend to continue observing the central limits of the Treaty and exchanging notifications and relevant data.
Responsibility for the escalation of the New START issues lies entirely with Washington. There can be no progress on arms control without the United States reconsidering its policy of inflicting strategic defeat on Russia.
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