Russia will find effective ways to protect itself if no agreement is reached with the United States on extending the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, said in an interview, stressing that Russia hopes for prolongation of the deal, APA reports citing Sputnik.
"If the deal is not extended, we will find effective ways to protect ourselves. We are certainly interested in extending the treaty, as we see it as a key element of strategic stability. We tell our US colleagues that the failure to extend it would be a great mistake," Nebenzia pledged.
Russia's UN envoy expressed the belief that Washington's intention to dismantle the entire system of arms control agreements (the country withdrew from the Intermediate‑Range Nuclear Forces Treaty last year, accusing Russia of violating the bilateral deal) could be explained by its desire to use force absolutely freely.
"This is only a part of the global problem consisting in destruction of the arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation [ADN] regimes in force. Unfortunately, we are getting more and more evidence that the US attempts to dismantle the system of relevant agreements in fact hides its desire to secure full discretion for power projection and use of force," Nebenzia said.
Russia keeps actively opposing these attempts, including within the UN, and remains open to a constructive dialogue aimed at maintaining and strengthening the global security architecture, the high-ranking official assured.
"For example, last year, the UN General Assembly [UNGA] adopted a resolution, which we initiated, in support of strengthening and developing the system of valid ADN agreements almost unanimously. It calls on UN member states to fully and strictly abide by the treaties in force, and to support their integrity," Nebenzia added.
Russia's envoy to the international organization expressed hope that Russia's approach would be supported unanimously at this year's UNGA session as well, noting that global demand for support to arms control deals was now "higher than ever."