Russia highlights risk of nuclear war
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday that there is a risk of a nuclear war, noting that the negative trend had become particularly visible this year, Tasnim news agency reports.
"The situation regarding strategic stability keeps growing worse. Unfortunately, it's a fact, and a fact that cannot be argued with. Risks are growing too ... there is a risk of a nuclear war breaking out, even if the sides have no intention of starting a nuclear conflict", Ryabkov said in a speech in Moscow.
The diplomat also said that Washington appears to be evading working with Moscow on the New START arms reduction treaty, Sputnik reported.
"The actions of our Western colleagues are becoming increasingly emotional, at times — rather aggressive", he said, adding that the agreement "may well become the next victim of the US drive to free itself in the field of arms control".
Ryabkov also raised concerns about the US preparing nuclear test grounds for new drills.
"We are concerned about the situation surrounding the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. After putting forward unjustified accusations of violating this accord, the United States, which has no intentions of ratifying it, is now working to maintain its testing grounds in readiness to resume such tests", he warned.
The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, also known as the New START, was signed between Russia and the US in April 2010, and imposed limits on the amount of both countries' nuclear missile launchers, inter-continental ballistic missiles, strategic bombers and deployed warheads. The deal is set to expire in 2021, but there is an option to extend it until 2026.
Vladimir Dzhabarov, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, agreed with Ryabkov in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza. “Sergey Alekseevich gave absolutely correct assessment. In fact, all mechanisms of nuclear deterrence no longer exist, only the START-3 treaty remains, but it will end in 2021. If it's not extended or a new mechanism won't be created, then we will find ourselves in an unprecedented situation when there will not be a single restraining factor of the arms race in the world."