19 Mar 2019 12:30

INF Treaty demise may spark multilateral arms race in several regions - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. March 19 (Interfax) - The termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty may trigger a multilateral arms race in several regions of the world, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on its website on Tuesday.

"If the U.S. persists in its current stance on the INF Treaty, it will go out of effect on August 2," the ministry said.

"It is obvious that the dismantlement of this treaty will entail the most negative implications for international security and stability. A multilateral arms race may start simultaneously in several regions, and the erosion of the arms control system will continue," it said.

Such a scenario "is fraught with serious threats to the sustainability of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and prospects of further nuclear disarmament," the ministry said.

At the moment, "the U.S. is actively developing new intermediate-range missile systems," it said.

"We have to get ready for their potential deployment," the ministry said.

"The American side did not display any readiness to continue this dialogue, but instead focused on its ultimatum to Russia, unacceptable in its form and substance, which pushes for unilateral concessions from Russia," the ministry said.

"We cannot agree to destroy the systems with our 9M729 missile, which has been absolutely groundlessly declared by Washington to be in violation of the treaty," it said.