MOSCOW — Washington’s ongoing efforts at creating missile defense systems and developing the Prompt Global Strike (PGS) precision conventional weapon program has a continued destabilizing effect on nuclear disarmament talks, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Saturday.
The US Prompt Global Strike system allows Washington to carry out high-precision non-nuclear attacks using hypersonic weapons from US territory at targets throughout the world within about an hour after launch.
“The second circumstance that deprives us of the possibility of holding talks over further reductions is linked to Washington’s ongoing destabilizing actions in areas such as the creation of a global missile defense system, the continued development of the means to carry out disarming strikes without using nuclear warheads while having the same range as strategic missiles. I mean the Prompt Global Strike program,” Ryabkov said.
US proposals on further Russia’s nuclear arms reduction lack logic as Washington is trying to undermine Russian defense capability through sanctions policy, he said.
According to Ryabkov, such talks are impossible, firstly, because Russia has already reduced its nuclear arsenal to the levels of the late 1950s — early 1960s, and, secondly, the United States continue its destabilizing actions by developing a global missile defense system and its program of global non-nuclear strike to disarm nuclear forces.
“The third issue worth talking about in the context of ‘reminders’ from Washington, is the complete absence of political logic and common sense in proposals ‘to disarm’ in conditions when the current US administration has been making concerted effort to undermine the defense and the military-industrial potential of Russia through its sanctions policy for a long time,” Ryabkov told RIA Novosti.
The deputy foreign minister added that the return to nuclear disarmament negotiations would only be possible if Russia’s concerns and priorities were taken into account.
Moscow rules out the possibility of holding talks with Washington on further nuclear arms reduction, the Russian deputy foreign minister said.
On Friday, the United States urged Russia to discuss further reductions in nuclear arsenals under the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) agreement between the two countries, which entered in force in 2011.
“The stance of the Russian side about the prospects for the continuation of the START negotiations and generally of nuclear weapons reduction remains unchanged. We reached the line where bilateral Russian-US negotiations in this area are not possible for several reasons,” Ryabkov told RIA Novosti.
All nuclear-weapon states should be a part of the denuclearization talks, Ryabkov said.
“The Russian side comes from the necessity to include all states with nuclear weapons capability in a dialogue on the [nuclear disarmament] issue.”
Moscow is concerned over the possibility of the global arms race in outer space, he said.
“We are very concerned about the prospect of moving an arms race to the space field and insist on the need for a legally binding document, which would prohibit the deployment of shock weapons systems in the outer space.”