16 Jan 2019 16:32

INF Treaty consultations in Geneva show U.S. seeking to disrupt strategic stability - Lavrov

MOSCOW. Jan 16 (Interfax) - The Russian-U.S. negotiations on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) in Geneva have confirmed that the United States is determined to continue pursuing its policy of dismantling strategic stability, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Speaking at a press conference following the talks, Lavrov said Washington's unilateral steps aimed at dismantling foundational international legal instruments for maintaining strategic stability can hardly inspire optimism.

This "was confirmed quite vividly during the consultations in Geneva yesterday between representatives of the U.S. and the Russian Federation on problems that have emerged in the context of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty," he said.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson had consultations on the INF Treaty in Geneva on Tuesday.

"Certainly, all of this is worsening the lack of mutual confidence and militarizing the foreign policy mentality," he said.

While reviewing the foreign policy outcomes of 2018, Lavrov said the global situation continued to grow more complicated, "the conflict potential grew, primarily because some Western countries, led by the U.S., stubbornly refused to accept the realities of the multipolar world that is objectively taking shape and strove to continue imposing their will through forcible, economic, and propagandistic levers."

"We saw attempts to trample down multilateral institutions, erode their international nature, and replace universal international law norms with a certain 'rules-based order' - a new term that emerged very recently and which disguises the intention to invent rules based on political trends and in the interests of using them as a tool to put pressure on unwelcome states and, very often, even on allies," Lavrov said.