15 Mar 2019 10:55

U.S. actions eroding arms control system pose military risk - Russian SC Deputy Secretary Popov

MOSCOW. March 15 (Interfax) - The United States has been eroding the international arms control system, according to Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Mikhail Popov.

"A lot has been said about the United States' withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding the Iranian nuclear problem and Washington's reluctance to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Meanwhile, the U.S. administration's attempts to revisit powers of working bodies of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), to block the creation of a legally binding mechanism verifying the compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), and to expand its military biological programs carried out on the post-Soviet space have somehow been overlooked," Popov told the newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda in an interview published on Friday.

"The list can be continued," he said.

The Russian Military Doctrine mentioned such military risk as "a breach of international agreements by certain countries and incompliance with international treaties that prohibit, restrict, or reduce weapons," Popov said.

"As we can see, it remains topical in modern international realities," he said.

As for the risk deriving from the deployment of U.S. strategic missile defense systems, Popov said, "We have been witnessing the deployment of the Aegis Ashore missile defense complex in Poland." "The system has been operating in Poland since 2016. The universal launching systems can be adjusted to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles. U.S. missile defense groups are being created in the Asia Pacific region with the participation of Japan and South Korea. The marine component of the U.S. global missile defense network is being upgraded," Popov said.

"While deploying and enhancing the combat potential of the global missile defense network, the Americans tend to forget about the Iranian missile threat highlighted by them earlier," Popov said. "By the way, the network was originally intended to counter this threat," he said.