Statement by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States of America Anatoly Antonov

March 1, 2018

We have taken note of the statements by the representatives of the U.S. Administration with regard to the Address by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to the Federal Assembly. They said that Russia is allegedly violating its international arms control obligations and is developing “destabilizing weapons”. As the U.S. Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert further elaborated, they were referring to Russia violating the INF Treaty.
It appears that the State Department does not know substance of the matter very well. In the Address of President Vladimir Putin strategic weapons were mentioned, which are not covered by INF provisions.
I will underline once again that Russia has not violated a single arms control and non-proliferation agreement while developing its nuclear potential. Activities of the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Russian military-industrial complex are in strict compliance with our international obligations.
As far as the INF Treaty is concerned, we would like to emphasize, that we consider accusations against Russia of “violating” this Treaty to be unfounded. They are not supported by either the technical characteristics of the launcher that allegedly is at variance with the INF Treaty or in-flight telemetry data.
At the same time we have serious concerns with regard to the way the Treaty provisions are being implemented by the USA. In particular, with regard to the use in missile defense tests of target missiles with characteristics similar to those of intermediate and shorter-range missiles, the production and use of combat UAVs, as well as the deployment at missile defense sites in Romania and Poland of universal missile launchers which can be used to launch, among others, INF-range cruise missiles.
Moreover, lately the U.S. has been openly declaring its intent to start the development of ground-launched cruise missiles with ranges which are banned by the Treaty. Thus the anti-Russian propaganda campaign in the INF context gives ever more reasons to say that Washington has embarked upon the course of abrogating the Treaty, as it was the case earlier with the ABM Treaty.
On many occasions we urged U.S. colleagues to have a professional conversation on this matter. We have warned the U.S. on many times, and are now repeating that warning, that the collapse of the INF would deal a heavy blow to the arms control and non-proliferation regime.