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USA-Russia relations at a low ebb: nuclear treaties are under threat

WORLD WAR 3: Russian minister warns nuclear treaties under threat as relations plunge

SKY-HIGH tensions between the US and Russia are putting critical treaties designed to prevent a nuclear arms race in jeopardy as relations sink to an all-time low, a senior Russian official has warned.

By SIMON OSBORNE, Express UK,  Oct 11, 2018 Moscow’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov described Western governments as “adversaries, not friends” and said a “complete malfunction of the American system” meant longstanding weapons agreements could be binned, leaving nuclear powers without constraint in the event of a future conflict.

He said: “We could lose several elements on arms control infrastructure. The building is shaky.”

Mr Rybakov warned another round of sanctions intruded by Donald Trump in the summer were “dangerous” and getting in the way of negotiations over renewing the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty “New START” which saw both sides agree to reduce their deployed nuclear arms by half but is set to expire in 2021.

He said: “If there is no progress then risk of a real backfire grows.

Mr Ryabkov was speaking as negotiators from the two countries met in Geneva to discuss a Cold War era treaty that was supposed to keep expansion of long-range nuclear-capable missiles in check.

Moscow and Washington have repeatedly accused each other of breaching the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a 1987 pact which bans firing land-based missiles with a range of up to 5,500km.

The US ambassador to NATO warned Moscow against developing a new cruise missile that could be armed with nuclear warheads, arguing that it was in breach of the INF and could be used against members of the Western military alliance.

Kay Bailey Hutchison said: “Counter measures by the United States would be to take out the missiles that are in development by Russia in violation of the treaty. They are on notice.”

The US government took a more aggressive line against Russia this year, when Mr Trump unveiled a new nuclear strategy that revolved around countering Russia and called for the development of small tactical nuclear weapons that were cheaper to maintain and could be used in more realistic scenarios.

Washington has also accelerated long-running US military plans to develop new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and nuclear-capable cruise missiles and has just confirmed hypersonic weapons testing is well underway……..

October 13, 2018 - Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA, weapons and war

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