Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Russia: The Level Of Potential Conflict In The World Reaching Dangerous Point

Level of Potential Conflict Worldwide Reaches Dangerous Point

Representatives of five major nuclear powers – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States or "nuclear five" met in Beijing on Wednesday.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said at the meeting that the level of potential conflict in the world has reached a dangerous point.

"The situation in the sphere of international security has not stabilized and even continued to deteriorate. The level of conflict potential has reached a very dangerous point", Ryabkov said.

According to Ryabkov, Russia is witnessing a decline in strategic stability in the world against the background of some states' attempts to shatter the architecture of non-proliferation regimes and arms control.

"Some countries are making dangerous changes to their doctrines, including those leading to lowering the threshold for using nuclear weapons", the deputy foreign minister stressed.

Moreover, a "nuclear five" refused to adopt a final joint statement at a meeting in Beijing, Sergey Ryabkov said.

"It cannot but cause concern that all these events are taking place against the background of a deepening deficit of mutual trust between the members of the 'nuclear five,' which is an unprecedented challenge for this format. The situation is so serious that this time we even had to refuse to adopt the final statement," Ryabkov said at a meeting of the five nuclear powers in Beijing.

"That is why the issue submitted by Russia regarding the role and the place of the 'nuclear five' both in the context of strengthening the NPT and in a broader perspective, becomes particularly relevant," Ryabkov added.
On Tuesday, Sergey Ryabkov said that the Russian delegation has hoped to discuss the situation around the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with US State Department’s Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson in Beijing. The Russian diplomat stressed that Moscow was interested in maintaining the dialogue on the issue with the United States.
The meeting of five nuclear states is held in Beijing on 30-31 January.
The United States has repeatedly accused Moscow of INF treaty violations. In particular, US officials have voiced concern over Russia's 9M729 missile, which, according to Washington, violates the provisions of the nuclear treaty. Washington has promised to withdraw from the treaty unless Russia returns to compliance with it.

Russia has refuted allegations of being in breach of the agreement and complained that launchers on US defense systems in Europe are capable of firing cruise missiles at ranges banned by the INF accord.

Last week, the Russian permanent mission to NATO highlighted the risks to the European security posed by the potential collapse of the INF Treaty while stressing its commitment to preserve the crucial bilateral agreement with the United States.
According to Ryabkov, Moscow will continue efforts to preserve the agreement even after the announced suspension of US participation on 2 February.

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