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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Putin Sees Significant Risk International Arms Control System Will Break Down

Sputnik News

14:18 06.06.2019(updated 15:25 06.06.2019)

In late-May, US Defenсe Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley said that the United States believes Russia may not be adhering to the nuclear testing moratorium outlined in the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Speaking to the heads of international news agencies at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the US withdrawal from missile defence agreements is a step towards the destabilisation of global security.

According to the Russian president, Russia will not extend the New START treaty if no one wants that.

"If no one wants to extend the New START, we will not [do that] then. We have already said a hundred times that we are ready, no one is negotiating with us so far. There is no formalization of the negotiation process, and in 2021 it will all end. I draw your attention, there will be no tools at all to limit the arms race, or, say, deployment of weapons in space," Putin said at a meeting with editors-in-chief of international news agencies.

He also urged the international public to take part in a transparent and open discussion on global security.

Last week, Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley claimed that Russia may not be adhering to the nuclear testing moratorium.

Earlier this year, Trump announced that the US would unilaterally withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, pointing towards Russia's 9M729 cruise missile, which American officials claim violates the existing limitations.

Russia has repeatedly denied the allegations that the missile violates the 1987 accord.

On Situation in Venezuela

Putin said on Thursday that he was aware that even Washington's allies opposed US military intervention in Venezuela.

"Military intervention is a pure catastrophe. As far as I see it, according to the information that I have, no one, not even US allies, supports military intervention. No one does. I don't know such people. Even Venezuela's neighbours, even those who condemn [Venezuelan President Nicolas] Maduro [oppose intervention]," Putin said at his meeting with information agencies heads, held on the sidelines of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

According to the Russian president, Russia has stopped delivering its weapons to Venezuela a long time ago but it is obligated to provide maintenance of the previously delivered arms, and this is what Russian experts are doing.

"As for our people in Venezuela, we used to officially sell weapons, while we have long ago ceased doing so. Under the contracts ... we are required to provide maintenance of this equipment, we have to fulfil our obligations. Our experts are doing this and have always been doing this over the past years. We have not always managed to do everything we had to, in technical terms, due to priorities of the Venezuelan government ... But we have to do this under the contract. Otherwise, we will be slapped with sanctions," Putin said at a meeting with information agencies heads, held on the sidelines of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

The 23rd edition of the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) began on Thursday at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Center in Russia's second largest city of St. Petersburg and will last for three days.

The SPIEF is a leading international business event and a platform for discussing key economic issues in Russia, countries with emerging economies, and the entire world.

Sputnik



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