Moscow sees threats to Russian security in Washington's actions, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Wednesday.
"We see the intentions of certain circles in the US to create a potential that will allow swiftly, in historically compressed timeframe, to create arsenals on the new technological basis that will surpass in their capabilities Pershing II and cruise missiles of the 1980s which were banned by now-dying treaty," Ryabkov told Russia's TV Channel One. "We see serious risks to our security. We don't know anything about their concrete plans, where and when they might deploy their new systems. We don't even know when they will test them. However, there is no doubt that there is movement in this direction and it will undoubtedly require a military-technical response," he added. "This represents another spiral of an arms race," the diplomat noted.
"Comprehensive assessment was provided by Russian presidential spokesman [Dmitry Peskov]. The conclusion that we came to in the Foreign Ministry after meetings and talks with John Bolton in Moscow, does not leave any doubt that the US intends to officially withdraw from the [INF] Treaty. The question is still open about when they will do this. Another question which is more important - what's next?" Ryabkov said. "These questions were not answered appropriately, and there is no more clarity on this," he added.
"We do not have any basis to talk about this, it would be a pure speculation on my part to talk about when and, most importantly, where new US systems will be deployed. However, technological capabilities will allow Washington to do it very fast, in our opinion," Ryabkov said.
"An alarming moment is that recently the United States has withdrawn from several international agreements, starting from climate deals and UNESCO and ending up with the Universal Postal Union (UPU)," he said.
"The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) known as the Iran nuclear deal are just two examples of similar numerous steps and we do not know if there is an end to this road," Ryabkov added.
"One remembers [US President Donald] Trump's recent speech at the UN General Assembly. He talked a lot about how the current US Administration and the president himself approach the issue of defending and promoting US national interests. He said that he recognized the sovereign actions of other countries on the international arena. In this regard, it looks positive and very helpful," he added. "It is another matter that this approach is often used in a one-sided manner in practical politics. The results that ensue devalue such intentions," he noted.
"Over time, we could lose the second treaty if the US persists with this approach. I mean the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. We could lose control over armaments in general, just like we have recently lost control over statements," Ryabkov said.
On October 20, US President Donald Trump said that the US will withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty because Russia allegedly violates it. Ryabkov described this as a dangerous step. Washington's position was criticized in Berlin and Beijing. London expressed its support for the US decision, while NATO laid the responsibility for Trump's decision on Russia which the Alliance suggests violated the Treaty. Moscow refuted all allegations and puts forward its respective concerns about the US adherence to the INF Treaty.