Executive Intelligence Review


Kremlin’s Peskov Bluntly States, If U.S. Withdraws from INF, ‘Russia Will Be Forced To Take Steps’

Dec. 4, 2018 (EIRNS)—Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov yesterday discussed the cancellation of the Trump-Putin meeting, and its potential consequences, reported TASS. He said that the cancelled meeting would have included discussion of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and other critical issues of global strategic stability. Speaking on Dec. 3, the eve of the NATO foreign ministers meeting focussed on attacking Russia, Peskov was blunt in stating Russia’s concerns:

“We expected this meeting between Putin and Trump, who could have discussed the process and outlined ways to a potential dialogue on that topic [INF Treaty]. But, regrettably, as you know, the meeting never took place.”

Peskov said that if the U.S. does actually withdraw from the INF Treaty, the

“consequences can be very bad. If the Americans ultimately withdraw from that treaty, there is a high risk, although now they deny it, that they will deploy these [intermediate-range] missiles in Europe. It means NATO’s expansion towards our borders. If missiles are deployed in Europe, Russia will be forced to take steps to ensure parity,” Peskov said, and stating that such “steps” would mean

“targeting these missiles.”

He continued:

“That is, European territories will be in the crosshairs of our missiles. So, here we are back in the glorious 1970s. It is illogical. It is dangerous since, instead of discussing development goals, we will find ourselves back in a situation of armed confrontation. It is very bad and that is why we are trying to initiate negotiations with the Americans, sending these or those signals, to see no reciprocity, due to various reasons.”

Peskov directly countered the idea that a new INF Treaty could be negotiated de novo, under current conditions:

“It is impossible to create an alternative to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in the current political conditions. There is room for improving the document. But it can be improved only on the basis of something concrete, because in the current political situation it is next to impossible to produce such a complicated document if it is leveled to the ground. It is possible to use it as a basis but it is absolutely impossible to start from scratch.”

“The best option is the U.S. non-withdrawal from the treaty,” the Kremlin spokesman stressed.

“It is a difficult problem and there is no alternative to dialogue between the two countries’ experts and political will from their leaders. You know about our leader’s political will. And the U.S. leader is yet to announce his.”

As for a possible future meeting between Putin and Trump, Peskov said that a meeting in Washington is out of question in the current situation, and stated,

“De facto, the easiest option is to meet on the sidelines of international multilateral forums. The next such event will be held in Osaka. It will be the next Group of Twenty summit, in six months. And it is an untenable pause both for our bilateral relations and for international security and stability.”