22 Sep 2019 16:18

U.S. stance on arms control treaties makes world less secure - Russian defense minister

MOSCOW. Sept 22 (Interfax) - The United States' withdrawal from key arms control treaties and its lack of readiness to prolong the New START Treaty makes the world more unpredictable, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

"As regards the number of threats facing our country, this number shows no sign of declining. The U.S. has already pulled out of two important treaties in the sphere of nuclear arms control [the ABM Treaty and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty]," Shoigu said in an interview with the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.

"What we still have today is the New START Treaty, on which discussions are also ongoing in the U.S.: whether to extend it or not. As a result of such an approach, the world is becoming ever more unpredictable and less secure," the Russian minister said.

The New START Treaty expires in 2021, and can be prolonged by Russia and the U.S. for another five years by mutual consent.

"Even having the current level of computerization and automation, the probability of error in the arms control system is quite high. That's why steps to maintain information security have come to the fore recently. When you sense your vulnerability and are interested in maintaining balance and general equal security, it prompts you to act reasonably. But when you think, like the U.S. continues to think by inertia, that the balance of forces will be in your favor, all sorts of ideas may come to your mind, including not quite reasonable ones. This is where I see now the main threat for Russia and others," Shoigu said.