RIA Novosti: Bad time for Russia to discuss further arms cuts, diplomat says

Russia ICBM on Mobile Launcher

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, December 25, 2013) Now is the least opportune moment in the past 15 years for Russia to discuss further reductions of strategic offensive weapons, Mikhail Ulyanov, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s security and disarmament department, has said in a RIA Novosti interview.

“Now is the most inauspicious moment in the past 10-15 years to talk about further reductions. Our partners know this. We are saying something else: conditions should be created to make it possible to move on. No-one is going to disarm to the detriment of one’s own security,” Ulyanov said.

He said the negative factors which make it impossible to hold talks at present about further arms reductions are the US plans to create European missile defence, the US authorities’ refusal to discuss nondeployment of weapons in space, as well as the lack of progress in the coming into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and a major imbalance in terms of conventional arms in Europe.

[A separate RIA Novosti report quoted Ulyanov saying that it appeared impossible to draw up a joint assessment of missile threats with the USA, and blaming “political attitudes”. “Political attitudes hang over experts like a sword of Damocles. It is known a priori that a big threat emanates from Iran, and this assessment is not subject to any revision,” Ulyanov said. “It would be good, of course, to draw up a joint assessment [of missile threats] but in reality it appears to be impossible,” he added.]