Lavrov: U.S. Policy Threatens Strategic Stability
Oct. 4, 2016 (EIRNS)—In a sharply worded statement issued yesterday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made clear that the unsatisfactory performance of the U.S. implementation of the plutonium treaty was not the only reason behind President Vladimir Putin’s decision to suspend Russian participation in it (the United States did not fulfill the agreement to reprocess spent plutonium to non-weapon grade status, as Russia did).
"I would like to stress that this is a measure of last resort. We considered the agreement an important step towards nuclear disarmament,"
Lavrov said. However,
"Washington introduced large-scale economic and other sanctions against Russia, citing unsubstantiated claims. NATO military infrastructure is expanding, with an increasing number of U.S. troops in proximity to the Russian border. The United States and its allies openly and freely discuss transitioning to a policy of containing their relations with Russia. They even threaten terrorist attacks in Russian cities."
So, clearly, Putin’s decision to suspend the plutonium treaty is a function of the overall collapse of U.S.-Russian relations brought on by President Obama’s policy of geopolitical confrontation.
"All these actions taken by Washington are leading to a major shift in strategic stability and are increasingly limiting possibilities for Russian-U.S. cooperation on reducing nuclear arsenals,"
Lavrov went on.
"Our decision is a signal to Washington that it cannot use the language of force, sanctions and ultimatums with Russia while continuing to selectively cooperate with our country only when it benefits the U.S."
The response at the State Department to the Putin decision, yesterday, was the usual combination of lies and arrogance:
"I would note this is the latest in a series of steps by Russia to end longstanding cooperation on nuclear security and disarmament, including its decision to not participate in the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, and its unwillingness to continue strategic arms control reductions,"
State Department spokesman Elizabeth Trudeau said during yesterday’s briefing.
"I would also note it’s disingenuous of Russia to cite the United States threat to strategic stability as a reason for this decision. The United States seeks a constructive dialogue with Russia on strategic issues, but it is Russia instead who continues to engage in destabilizing activities, and to suspend cooperation under existing agreements like this one that benefit international security."