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‘Russia Prepares for War, US Prepares a War’ – Diplomat on INF Treaty Withdrawal

© AP Photo / Dmitry LovetskyA night view of the Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, March 1, 2015
A night view of the Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, March 1, 2015 - Sputnik International
Russian diplomat Andrei Belousov confirmed Friday that Russia is preparing to defend its territory against any aggression, while the unilateral withdrawal from the INF Treaty by the US signals that Washington is preparing for such aggression.

Andrei Belousov, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Department of Nonproliferation and Arms Control, commented on the US unilateral withdrawal from the INF Treaty by saying that Washington is "preparing a war," and that Russia has to get ready to defend its territory, principles and values.

"Recently at a meeting [of the committee], the US stated that Russia is preparing for war. Yes, Russia is preparing for war, I can confirm it," Belousov said after a failed UN First Committee vote on Russia's resolution in support of the INF.

"We are preparing to defend our homeland, our territorial integrity, our principles, our values, our people — we are preparing for such a war," he added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the UN General Assembly. - Sputnik International
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However, he underscored it is not Russia that is preparing to start the war. According to the diplomat, there is a big difference between Moscow's preparations and Washington's. 

"Linguistically, this difference is in just one word, both in Russian and in English: Russia is preparing for war, and the US is preparing a war," Belousov said. "Otherwise, why would the United States withdraw from the treaty, build up its nuclear potential [and] adopt a new nuclear doctrine?"

Belousov, commenting on the failed UN committee vote on Russia's draft resolution, warned that refusal to introduce the draft could seriously affect world security.

"If the United States comes out of the treaty and starts building up its nuclear potential in an uncontrolled manner, we will face another reality," he said, adding that the procedural issues the UN focused on in recent days will seem insignificant.

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The INF Treaty is a Cold War-era pact signed by then-leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and then-US President Ronald Reagan in 1987. The two sides reached a historic agreement to cut their nuclear arsenals and pledged to destroy all cruise or ground-launched ballistic missiles with ranges between 310 and 3,400 miles.

Last Saturday, US President Donald Trump announced his country's intention to withdraw from the INF Treaty over Russia's alleged violations of the accord.

On Friday, Russia introduced a draft resolution to preserve the INF to the UN General Assembly's First Committee, tasked with disarmament and international security. However, the committee voted against reviewing the draft, with 55 countries voting against the draft resolution, 31 nations supporting it, and 54 abstaining from the vote.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Belousov commented that Russia has had questions for the US regarding the implementation of the treaty since well before 2000.

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