The United States is escalating the risk of a nuclear standoff among the world’s major powers in an effort to win back global domination, and brushing aside the last arms control pacts still standing, Russia’s chief diplomat has warned, Russia Today reports.
“I agree that the nuclear risks have increased substantially in the recent past,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told an audience at the high-profile Primakov Readings forum on Friday.
The reasons for that are “obvious,” the minister clarified. “The US wants to regain global dominance and achieve victory in what they call a great power competition.”
Lavrov said Washington refuses the notion of “strategic stability” and calls it “strategic rivalry” instead. “They want to win,” he added.
The Russian FM continued his statement and suggested Washington wants to dismantle the entire arms control mechanism. The Trump administration pulled out last year from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which bans either side from stationing short- and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe.
That withdrawal also threw the New START treaty, signed with Russia in 2010, into jeopardy. The milestone agreement saw the US and Russia reduce their warheads to 1,550 each and their launchers to 800. It is set to expire next year but Lavrov said on Friday he was not optimistic that it would be extended.
According to the foreign minister, the US decision not to renew the New START is already a done deal and the fate of the pact “is sealed.”
Washington insists that the renewal of talks be made trilateral, with China joining in on the discussions. Beijing has said it would “be happy” to take part in the negotiations – but only if the US was willing to reduce its nuclear arsenal to China’s level, which is about 20 times smaller.