Putin says threats in Asia-Pacific region growing

NOVO-OGAREVO (TASS): Russia’s proposal to establish a moratorium on the deployment of intermediate and shorter-range missiles (INF) remains in place and is growing in urgency, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

“Russia, as you know, has declared a unilateral moratorium on the deployment of intermediate and shorter-range missiles in the APR [Asia-Pacific Region] and other regions of the world and called for a serious discussion on this issue with all interested states,” Putin said, speaking at the East Asia Summit … The President stressed that “this Russian proposal remains in force, and its relevance is even growing.”

The Russian leader said that he could not fail to note the fact that, along with the need to resolve all acute problems on the social track and in the economy, it is important not to weaken joint efforts to maintain regional stability and security. In his opinion, this is all the more relevant given the fact that the number of challenges and threats in the Asia-Pacific region is not only not decreasing, but also growing, old conflict situations are exacerbating and new ones are emerging. “We, in particular, have already repeatedly noted that with the termination of the Treaty on the Elimin-ation of Intermediate-Ra-nge and Shorter-Range Missiles, the region faced the possibility of the appearance of these strike weapons in its vast space, and, accordingly, with the prospect of a new round of the arms race,” the President stated RF.

Putin emphasized that Russia has consistently advocated the formation in the APR of a system of equal and indivisible security, strengthening the atmosphere of constructive cooperation on the principles of international law, including respect for sovereignty, equality and consideration of each other’s interests. “This is the only way, in our opinion, it is possible to stop existing and emerging threats, solve problems that are acute not only for our region, but also for the world community as a whole, and also effectively interact in the interests of sustainable development and improving the well-being of the population,” he concluded he assured that the Russian side would continue to contribute to such joint work.

On February 2, 2019, the United States suspended the fulfillment of its obligations under the INF Treaty on the basis of an alleged violation of the agreement by Russia. Washington first announced this in July 2014. According to the US administration, the Russian Federation violated the treaty by creating the 9M729 missile. Moscow denied these accusations, presenting a number of counterclaims, for example, elements of the US missile defense system in Europe.

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