Hua Chunying, spokesperson, foreign ministry
Hua Chunying, spokesperson, foreign ministry

US withdrawal from INF to have multilateral repercussions: China

ANI | Updated: Oct 22, 2018 15:52 IST

Beijing [China], Oct 22 (ANI/Sputnik): The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday warned that the United States decision to unilaterally pull out from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) would have multiple negative effects.
On Saturday, US President Donald Trump announced the country's withdrawal from the INF treaty over the alleged violations of the agreement by Russia.
"The INF is an important agreement on arms control, reached by the United States and Russia during the Cold War. The treaty has played a significant role in stabilising international relations, supporting the global strategic balance and stability ... The [US] unilateral withdrawal from the agreement will have multilateral negative effects," the ministry's spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, told a briefing.
The spokeswoman added that Trump's reference to Beijing when justifying his decision to pull out of the INF Treaty was erroneous. "It must be stressed that the reference to China in this matter is completely erroneous," Hua said.
The US president argued on Saturday that it was "unacceptable" for Washington to continue to adhere to the agreement while both Russia and China were allegedly developing weapons prohibited under the treaty.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Sunday that Washington had no reasons to accuse Moscow of violating the agreement, adding that the United States had been breaching the treaty for years. He noted that withdrawal from the agreement benefited certain political forces in Washington that wanted to continue acting in violation of the INF treaty.
The INF Treaty was signed by former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and then-US President Ronald Reagan in 1987 amid the Cold War crisis. 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.
According to the terms of the agreement, the treaty has an unlimited duration and each side can terminate it by providing compelling evidence to substantiate its decision.
Russian lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev said the US plans to withdraw from the INF are aimed at moving the US weapons to the borders of Russia and China.
"The destruction of the INF Treaty is aimed at moving the relevant class of US weapons to the territory of potential and, maybe real, enemy. That is primarily Russia and, secondly, China," Kosachev, the Russian upper house's International Affairs Committee head, said on Sunday.
The lawmaker described the US possible invitation for the further talks on the issue as a deceit. Kosachev pointed out that Russia should respond to specific steps of the United States after the exit from the treaty, not to the withdrawal itself.
From the lawmaker's point of view the United States had been preparing for the withdrawal from the INF treaty since 2014. He noted that the US claims about alleged Russian violations of the treaty were absolutely unfounded.
"The United States continues these games because the real aim of these moves is not to detect Russian violations and make Russia stick to the treaty, but to destroy the agreement using contrived pretexts," Kosachev added.
Meanwhile, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Monday that the country would closely follow the situation around the US decision to withdraw from the INF.
"Taking into account the role of the treaty in the control over arms and disarmament as well as the role it may play in ensuring the regional security, we are going to closely follow the US and Russian moves," Suga said.
He pointed out that Tokyo and Washington used to exchange information in the sphere of security and nuclear disarmament. "I think they [the consultations] will be continued," Suga added. (ANI/Sputnik)