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Top Russian Diplomat Warns That Arms Race in Missile Technologies Is Getting Out of Hand

April 22, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Grigory Mashkov, Ambassador at Large for the Russian Foreign Ministry, warned in an article in the Russian journal International Affairs, that the arms race in missile technologies is getting out of hand. “In fact, we are witnessing a missile arms race whose consequences are unpredictable. Tens of billions of dollars are being invested in upgrading missile technologies. This process is growing uncontrollable,” he wrote, reported TASS. The situation with missile risks and threats to national security is going from bad to worse, he stressed. Mashkov then listed all of the arms control treaties that the U.S. has pulled out of, adding that New START, which expires in 2026, “is on the verge of collapse.”

Mashkov reported that, with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty long dead, Russia is considering revising its position on the deployment of intermediate-range missiles on its western borders, to permit such deployments. He argued that Russia should build up its tactical potential and stockpile missile weapons in advance, including in the exclave of Kaliningrad, in order to effectively respond to any challenges. Mashkov pointed out the need to analyze the threats emerging from the Western direction and develop ways to counter them. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had already said, back on April 3, that the “collective West” had already resorted to preventive use of its armed forces, making it necessary for Russia to adopt the same policy for its use.

Mashkov stressed the importance of dialogue, if possible, to address the problem.

“Whatever the situation in the missile field, there is a need to make preparations to launch a dialogue mechanism on the United Nations platform to discuss the entire range of missile issues. Such a proposal could be sent to the UN secretary general, and we also could highlight our readiness to take a leading role in the process,”

the diplomat pointed out. According to him, the discussion may get a boost from a draft resolution on missiles in all their aspects, which could be submitted to the UN General Assembly First Committee.

But Russia must also be prepared for the likelihood that New START will expire. “It’s quite possible that after New START expires in February 2026, a vacuum will be created in the field of international legal tools to maintain strategic stability in the long term,” Mashkov said. “This is why it seems crucial to preserve the existing missile capabilities and in practical terms, to explore the idea of enhancing New START by creating a single integrated national missile defense system to counter threats from the outside.”

“The previous formula of strategic stability, which was based on the bipolar nuclear missile parity, has exhausted and even discredited itself because it allowed Western countries to strengthen their positions on other tracks and expand their zones of influence without facing any serious consequences for a long time,”

Mashkov emphasized. “Reducing strategic offensive arms without taking into account the joint missile capabilities of the Euro-Atlantic alliance and some Asian countries is counterproductive.”

Mashkov highlighted the need to take into consideration other aspects of strategic stability, “including new weapons, imbalances in terms with conventional arms and the military space industry, as well as legal obligations to recognize a common and indivisible security space and the need to prevent attempts to strengthen one’s security at the expense of others.”

“The opportunities for talks and mutually acceptable solutions are shrinking amid turbulence and aggressive confrontation on the international stage, and the lack of trust,” he concluded.

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