Russian senator Alexei Pushkov said that Europe is not fully aware of the negative consequences of the US withdrawing from the Treaty on intermediate and shorter-range missiles.
“Europe does not quite understand the consequences of the US withdrawing from the Treaty on intermediate and shorter-range missiles … We are reassured that this is due to the US’s concern over China’s actions and the buildup of its nuclear weapons. But … as soon as they (missiles – ed.) appear, they are immediately trying to place them somewhere,” Pushkov said at the international conference “European Security: move away from the edge of the abyss” on Tuesday in Minsk. He noted that the case could begin “in Asia, and then end in Europe, and then the countries will return to a nuclear confrontation in the mid-80s.”
The politician noted that the Russian Federation froze its participation in the INF Treaty in response to a US decision, but did not terminate the treaty. “If the United States considers it necessary to return to it, then we will automatically return to the agreement,” said Pushkov.
He recalled the Russian proposal to NATO countries to introduce a moratorium on the deployment of missiles in Europe, which was not adopted, and supported the initiative of the Belarusian president to hold extensive negotiations on this topic. “Why are NATO countries rejecting it from the doorway? We lack common sense,” said Pushkov.
On August 2, the INF Treaty expired. At the beginning of this year, Washington announced a unilateral withdrawal from this agreement, accusing Russia of its long-term violation. Moscow rejects all charges. In early July, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law to suspend the treaty. Russia has repeatedly stated that it fully complies with the INF Treaty. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that Moscow has very serious questions for Washington regarding the implementation of the treaty by the Americans themselves. According to him, the US allegations of violation of the INF Treaty are unfounded.