Ryabkov to Al Mayadeen: Direct clash between Russia, NATO possible
The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov confirms from Geneva to Al Mayadeen that the danger of a "direct confrontation between Russia and NATO" is present.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Al Mayadeen on Thursday that the situation related to the START Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is concerning.
Ryabkov confirmed that during the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, he held talks with the US on the START Strategic Offensive Arms Reduction Treaty.
He added that both Britain and France could join the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty if there is political will, noting that the meetings with representatives of Britain and France have not been scheduled.
In response to a question by Al Mayadeen, Ryabkov explained that there is a threat of direct confrontation between Russia and NATO because the current direction is very dangerous.
He added that NATO members are obsessed with the idea that any expansion within the alliance would be a strategic loss for Russia. They no longer fear such decisions regardless of political fallout.
Ryabkov added: "The treaty has not been implemented for about a quarter of a century. The United States is held responsible for this situation which reflects the blatant American refusal which implies a clear tendency to allow renewed testing.
The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister pointed out that if the United States decided to be the first to conduct nuclear tests, Russia will have to respond appropriately, declaring that the "US used information obtained under the START treaty to help Kiev attack our strategic sites."
He stressed that the Western delegations are doing everything in their power to prevent the adoption of a comprehensive and balanced work program for the Conference on Disarmament, noting that NATO wants to tip the balance of power in its favor and at the expense of the security of others.
Earlier last month, Russia's legal information portal published a copy of the Presidential bill calling for the suspension of Russia's engagement in the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin said on February 21, before delivering his annual address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow, that Russia will suspend participation in the New START, stressing that this does not imply a withdrawal on Russia's part from the treaty.