US policies could deadlock nuclear disarmament – Russian Foreign Ministry

Launch site 175 of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces at the Baikonur space center before the launch of an RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto) intercontinental ballistic missile. (RIA Novosti/Sergey Kazak)
Washington’s current course in relations with Moscow could prevent any resolution of urgent problems in bilateral relations, including nuclear disarmament, the Russian Foreign Ministry warns.

The White House’s line on aggravation the relations with Russia threatens to lead the whole complex of sensible issues on the modern bilateral agenda to a dead end,” reads the annual review of the foreign policy and diplomatic activities for 2014 that was published on the ministry’s website on Thursday.

The discussion of such pressing issues has become sporadic and non-systematic,” the document reads.

Russian diplomats emphasized that the plans of the United State and its allies to deploy the global missile defense system is one of the typical examples of such hostile approach.

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Practical discussion of how Russian worries can be eased was curtailed at the initiative of the US. Now we are forced to develop adequate countermeasures,” the ministry wrote.

In addition, when [President] Barack Obama’s administration promoted further cuts in the Russian in US nuclear arsenals, it completely ignored Russian arguments that other states with nuclear potential should be included in this process,” the report reads.

The Russian side noted that the United States continued to implement its concept of immediate global strike that uses conventional strategic weapons and continued to avoid making any concrete statements regarding their refusal to deploy weapons in space.

The released plans to beef up US and NATO military presence near Russian borders pose direct risks of a shift of the European balance of forces, the report states.

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In late April, President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia had brought its nuclear arsenal to the minimum ordered by the Non-Proliferation Treaty and plans to continue work in this direction.

"We have reduced our nuclear weapons stockpiles to minimal levels, thereby making a considerable contribution to the process of comprehensive and complete disarmament," Putin wrote in his address to the international conference on nuclear non-proliferation.

He also emphasized Russia’s commitment to Article VI of the treaty, which states that each party "undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith," and agrees to disarmament "under strict and effective international control."

In mid-January the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Security and Disarmament Department, Mikhail Ulyanov, said unfriendliness by the US could cause Moscow to review its approach to the New START agreement on cutting nuclear weapons and their delivery.

So far we have not taken any particular steps in this direction, but I cannot exclude that in the future Washington will force us into taking them, into making corrections to our policies regarding this direction,” he stated in a press interview. “This would only be natural, considering the unfriendly character of the US actions.”