Lavrov Describes, Obama Bequeathed a ‘Horrible Legacy’ in Relations to Trump
Feb. 10, 2020 (EIRNS)—Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that U.S. Barack Obama left a “horrible legacy” in U.S.-Russia relations for President Donald Trump, according to TASS today. TASS did not say where or to whom the minister made his remarks. Lavrov said that Obama had cancelled going to St. Petersburg for the 2013 G20 summit, because he was “resentful for Edward Snowden’s asylum,” at a time “a very interesting document on strategic stability was being prepared for signing.” Lavrov continued: “He had this quirk of putting personal before state. He also displayed it in December 2016, when he, already an outgoing President, ‘slammed the door’ by seizing Russian diplomatic properties and by forcing the diplomats out. By doing so, he left Trump with a horrible legacy in relations with Russia, which still has a certain effect.”
In an extensive “business breakfast” discussion today with the editorial staff of Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Lavrov spoke of efforts to get talks going on a New START treaty, in which he mentioned that Washington is “keen to know more about our new weapons.”
“We have already mentioned the fact that the Russian military are prepared to consider some of these new weapons, at least Avangard and Sarmat, in the context of the Treaty’s criteria. The rest is not subject to limitations under the 2010 treaty, but we are ready to discuss this topic as well,” he said.
He expressed concerns regarding the U.S.’s so-called Prompt Global Strike doctrine, which involves use of non-nuclear strategic weapons, and which has gained traction recently. “It aims to reach any point of the Earth within one hour at most. Of course, it is a new destabilizing factor,” Lavrov explained. “Other factors are Washington’s now-official refusal to join the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and its plans to bring weapons into space.”
“Of course, we are ready to discuss our new weapons and new weapons of other nations, and do it in consideration of all factors that influence the global stability,” the minister said. “If we are offered to limit our weapons while those who make this offer continue developing their own weapons without limitations, of course, this discussion would lead us nowhere.”
Lavrov urged extending New START as it is, before trying to negotiate any multilateral arrangements.
“The Americans are constantly trying to impose on us an option involving China’s accession to the debate on the medium- and shorter-range missiles as well as the New START Treaty. But China has repeatedly stated in public that it will not join these talks, because the structure of its nuclear forces is radically different from that of Russia and the United States. If China suddenly changes its mind, we will be pleased to participate in multilateral talks. But we will not try to convince China,”
“We believe that there is sense in extending New START, which will expire in a year. After February 5, 2021, the treaty will be no more if it is not extended. Even if a multilateral process is launched, it will take a long time, because talks on such a serious issue never conclude in a couple of months,” Lavrov continued. “This is why there is a need to ensure a safety net by extending New START so that, as far as the political standing of Russia and the U.S. is concerned, no one can accuse us of destroying a legally binding strategic stability tool.”
On deploying missiles in Asia and the Pacific, he said:
“The Americans have plans to deploy intermediate- and shorter-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific region. Japan and South Korea are mentioned in this context. Both countries, however, said they have no plans to deploy such missiles. But if the Americans really want to deploy their missiles there, I don’t think it is impossible,”
he said, and that such missiles could be deployed on “exotic islands” in the central part of the Pacific. He commented that, although these are geared to contain China, they nonetheless would be deployed in areas where a large part of Russia will be exposed.