21 April 202118:33

Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the US State Department’s report 2021 Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments

771-21-04-2021

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On April 15, the US Department of State published the regular report 2021 Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments. The report’s lack of any conclusive evidence, its dissemination of blatantly false accusations and suppression of Washington’s own imperfect compliance with arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament agreements relegate it to the category of information noise.

Proceeding from false assumptions, the United States again accuses Russia of maintaining an offensive biological weapons programme in violation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). This is nothing but groundless speculation. We consider these inventions to be an attempt to divert the international community’s attention from Washington’s own improper activities in this sensitive area (including outside its borders) that circumvent the BTWC.

Russia is predictably accused of violating the Open Skies Treaty. It is now clear that the purpose of this is to conceal Washington’s own destructive actions as regards this treaty. We have provided exhaustive answers to all claims and do not see any need to comment on them now that the United States has withdrawn from this treaty.

As for criticisms of Russia’s selective compliance with the 2011 Vienna Document, insufficient transparency and failure to provide information on military bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, we will repeat that these sovereign states are not members of the OSCE and are not included in the zone of confidence-building measures.

The rant about non-strategic nuclear weapons comes off as entirely cynical. Instead of a serious analysis of the situation, we get bad-faith attempts to expose Russia – which consistently keeps all these weapons undeployed on its national territory – as deviating from the voluntary presidential initiatives of 1991-1992. This comes at a time when the United States and its allies are honing their skill at using these weapons deployed in Europe as part of NATO’s “joint nuclear missions.” This is a direct violation of the legally binding NPT, a cornerstone of the system of arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament agreements. Meanwhile, nothing is said about the tectonic shifts in European security caused by the movement of NATO’s strategic military infrastructure nearer Russia’s borders. Likewise, there is no mention of US plans to deploy new nuclear arms contrary to the above-mentioned presidential initiatives.

The report’s assertion that “all US activities during the reporting period were consistent with the obligations set forth in the New START Treaty (NST)” is nothing short of perplexing, and the same can be said of the completely baseless charge that Russia is out of compliance with the nuclear test ban.

We no longer pay attention to these completely unsubstantiated US concoctions. The report by the State Department has nothing to do with the real challenges of arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament, and should be treated accordingly.

In the meantime, we advise all those who are genuinely interested in examining these matters to read the Foreign Ministry’s previous comments on the subject.

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