Moscow demands answers from USA on alleged plans to place missiles in Europe

Anatoly Antonov and Others Facing U.S. Official with U.S. and Russian Flags on Table

(Interfax – June 9, 2015)

Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoliy Antonov has demanded an explanation from the USA regarding alleged plans to deploy ballistic and cruise missiles in Europe, which he has said would mean a US “exit” from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, privately-owned Russian military news agency Interfax-AVN reported on 9 June.

“The measures the American sources are talking about would mean the USA’s exit from the INF treaty,” Antonov said. “Of course, we are paying attention to these articles in the Western press,” he added.

“In order to receive official explanations from the Americans we have sent a request along military diplomatic channels to set out the Pentagon’s position on the statements allegedly authored by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey,” the deputy minister said.

Antonov added that Russia had made “multiple statements” on its commitment to upholding the INF treaty, and that “the return of American intermediate and short-range missiles to Europe and their deployment in other regions where they could threaten Russia and other countries” would have a “sharply negative influence on global security and stability”. Antonov called for the USA to provide “clear answers” to Russia’s questions.

“Russia has serious claims on the USA’s observance of a number of provisions of the treaty. We would consider an honest dialogue at the expert level to be useful – but not one in which one side makes unfounded and unspecific accusations while rejecting objective concerns from the other side,” he continued.

Antonov also criticized media reports on “the necessity for the USA to work together with its allies to compensate for alleged ‘Russian violations’ of the INF treaty”.

“These articles coincided with yet another flare-up in the West’s anti-Russia campaign in the run-up to the G7 summit and the upcoming EU summit, where the issue of the viability of prolonging anti-Russia sanctions will be discussed,” Antonov noted.

“We get the impression that the USA is pushing the topic of ‘Russian violations’ as a pretext to implement its own allegedly ‘retaliatory’ military steps aimed to cement American ‘leadership’ in the confrontation with the ‘Russian military threat’, a myth Washington is stubbornly pushing in spite of obvious facts,” he said.

[featured image is file photo]