Moscow: US ever-expanding missile shield creates illusion of impunity, leads to dangerous escalation

Moscow: US ever-expanding missile shield creates illusion of impunity, leads to dangerous escalation
The US wants to have the entire globe under its missile defense dome, Russia says, which is disproportionate to any potential threat and disrupts international security systems, ultimately pushing the world to greater instability.

"Reckless development of the missile defense system by the US could have dire consequences for the international security system not only in the Euro-Atlantic region but in the Asia-Pacific one as well," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. It added that the US policy in this field has turned into "one of the major obstacles to the further nuclear disarmament" and created "dangerous conditions for a renewed arms race."

Washington did not slow down the development of its missile defense system after it, together with five other major international powers, reached a deal with Iran on its nuclear program back in 2015, even though the Iranian nuclear program was presented by the US as the major reason for the deployment of missile defense systems in Europe, the ministry noted. In the meantime, the US global missile shield has already become "disproportionate" to any potential threats, it added.

The missile defense systems deployed across the world appear to be "parts of a dangerous global project aimed at ensuring the US overwhelming military superiority at the expense of other nations' security," the statement said. They "change the strategic balance of power in the field of offensive weapons" and pose "serious risks of global instability."

This missile defense "umbrella" could create "an illusion of invulnerability and impunity" in Washington, fueling "dangerous unilateral steps" in pursuit of its goals.

US blames others in attempts to conceal its own violations of international law

The US declares itself the "paragon of adherence to the international law" and never hesitates to judge whether other states fulfill their obligations – the real criteria being whether they serve American interests, the Russian Foreign Ministry's statement goes on. When accusing someone of violations, the US often "does not bother with providing any proof" and mixes "facts and speculations together."

"There is a growing number of reasons to believe that the real motive behind the US actions is… the fear that it would be exposed as [a nation] that throws baseless accusations at other countries… in attempt to conceal the numerous violations of international law in the field of arms control and non-proliferation committed by the US itself," the statement reads.

In the meantime, Washington de facto violated a number of major international treaties in the field of arms control, including the biological weapons convention and the treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. It also still has not ratified the agreement on the comprehensive ban of any nuclear weapons tests, while creating conditions for such testing, the Russian ministry said.

It then points out that the US remains the only party to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that still has a vast arsenal of chemical agents and is apparently in no rush to destroy them. On the contrary, Washington develops new means for the use of such chemical substances, the ministry said, citing information from open sources.

In early November 2017, US legislators allocated $58 million to a set of measures that include a "research and development program on a ground-launched intermediate-range missile" as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2018. Such actions directly violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed by Moscow and Washington back in 1987.

The American drone program is also technically a violation of the INF Treaty, Moscow says, since the unmanned aircraft fit the definition of land-based cruise missiles outlined in the treaty.

Russia is also concerned about the placement of naval vertical launch systems as part of the AEGIS Ashore deployment in Eastern Europe. The launchers are the same as those used by US warships to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles, which makes it possible to use the missile shield sites to launch mid-range missiles.

All that said, the US blames other nations, Russia in particular, for the escalation of tensions in the international arena to justify its own aggressive policies. In its latest Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), adopted in early 2018, Washington accused Moscow of a "troubling" adoption of military strategies and capabilities that rely on nuclear escalation.

In response, Russia rebuked the US for its attempts to justify its own "large-scale nuclear weapons buildup" with anti-Russian rhetoric. It also said that the new NPR significantly lowers the nuclear threshold, as it allows the US strategists "to treat almost any use of military force as a reason for carrying out a nuclear strike against those deemed aggressors."

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