Sergey Lavrov: Cold War not to re-ignite, but...
The withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty would not herald the start of a new Cold War, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University.
"I don't think we're talking about the development of a Cold War. A new era has begun, an era when the United States decides to move towards destroying the entire arms control system, which is regrettable," he said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry announced tonight that it received a diplomatic note from the U.S. State Department on the suspension of the U.S. participation in the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles. The same document reports on the launch of the procedure of Washington’s withdrawal from the Treaty.
The deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association, Andrey Baklanov, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the U.S. exit from the INF Treaty is another major element in breaking the system of international agreements that to some extent limited the arms race. "The U.S.’s traditional goal is to get military-political issues and possible clashes, including with the use of weapons of mass destruction, away from their national borders as far as possible," he noted.
According to the diplomat, the mirror response is not the most effective in this regard, because it works for the American strategy. "This is exactly what they want - drawing Russia into aggravating relations with those Western countries. We need to do something to respond to the U.S. growth of activity on the perimeter of our borders not in the way they want it. They should feel the growth of activity at their own territory. In this regard, it seems to me that the use of hyper-speed rocket launchers and the creation of infrastructure directed against the territory of the United States is very promising. That's the only thing which can sober them up, as was the case during the Cuban Missile Crisis," Andrey Baklanov believes.
President of the National Strategy Institute Mikhail Remizov earlier noted that the main risk of a U.S. exit from the INF Treaty is the increase in tensions in East Asia and Europe. "In Europe, it will happen due to the threat of deploying short- and intermediate-range missiles from both the American and Russian sides. In East Asia, the issue of forming the American infrastructure to contain China using this category of armaments will be on the agenda," he explained.
“Another consequence of the U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty is stimulating the proliferation of nuclear missile technologies in non-nuclear, threshold states and unofficial nuclear states seeking to acquire nuclear weapons," Mikhail Remizov added, noting that the United States itself is not at any risk after its exit.
Russia, in turn, will inevitably begin to intensify the development of missile systems. "A number of military-technical challenges arise here, including those related to adapting the current prospective hydrosound studies to ground systems," the president of the National Strategy Institute said.