This year a number of events that impact nuclear stability occurred, sending mixed signals.
On the one hand, the United States has withdrawn from the INF Treaty, having sparked debate on this issue. The United States has accused Russia.
On the other hand, after that, Mr Bolton, who was the main advocate of withdrawing from this Treaty, lost his job.
Probably, in so doing, President Trump meant something else. Discussion on the START Treaty continues, and, so far, it is unclear where it will lead.
A year ago, you and I sat on this stage and you used a very emotionally-charged expression that in the event of a nuclear war,
perish the thought, the aggressors would perish and we would go to paradise.
Have we moved closer to paradise during this year?
All of us are always close to God to the same extent and He will decide where we deserve to be at the end of our lives on Earth.
But, of course, the situation has not improved. It has worsened after the United States’ withdrawal from the INF Treaty.
This is clear to everyone. Now we are waiting for the next move.
Moreover, I believe that the United States tested a ground-based intermediate-range missile that was covered by this Treaty
shortly after it announced its decision to withdraw from it, indicating that the United States had long since been working on it.
Technology like this can’t be developed in a couple of months.
This means they had been working at least several years on this missile.
As for the rest, they just looked for a pretext to pull out and they found it.
I don’t believe it was a credible pretext because there were no grounds whatsoever to accuse Russia of violating anything.
On the contrary, we were repeatedly told that the Aegis system could not be used for launching land-based intermediate-range missiles.
The Aegis system that is already deployed in Europe: in Romania and soon to be deployed in Poland.
We were told no, it is not possible to use it for this purpose.
And then – Bang!, they declared that Aegis launchers were used to launch intermediate-range missiles.
They could at least have waited a while longer. It’s clear that we were being conned, or they were trying to con us. And then they owned up to it.
Well, so be it, that’s not the point. The point is that the situation has not changed for the better.
In view of this escalation we said, I said immediately, that we would be doing the same
but we declare from the outset that we would not deploy land-based intermediate-range missiles, if we have them, unless US-made systems appear first in those regions.
I said this about five times and there was no response – neither the US has responded so far nor has Europe, like they lost their hearing, can’t hear!
There are many specialists here, I don’t think you need to be told something many times – I said this once, twice, five times.
How many more times should I say it? There is only silence, no reaction.
Then, suddenly, we heard from the US military that the first step in this direction would be made in Asia.
But this step concerns us too, because we need to understand where in Asia? Will it reach Russian territory or not?
By the way, you can tell what the underlying cause for their withdrawal was – it was neither Russia nor our mythical violations of the treaty.
If they are set to deploy this in Asia, it’s Asia that is the main reason for withdrawing from the Treaty.
I think the analysts see this, and this is an obvious fact no matter how much it is played down in the media.
We are discussing Asian problems today.
We will carefully watch the next steps: where in Asia will they appear, who will be threatened? Is this good or not?
It’s very bad because corresponding response measures are sure to follow.
Will this improve the situation in Asia? No, it won’t. It will only aggravate the situation, and create new threats.
But I am really counting on certain possibilities for settling this situation as well before the final decisions have been taken.