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Russians Warn Against U.S. Deploying Intermediate-Range Missiles in Western Pacific

April 18, 2024 (EIRNS)—Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov warned yesterday that, with the U.S. Army now deploying long-range missiles to the Western Pacific, Russia may end its voluntary moratorium on the deployment of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles on its territory, to which it committed after the U.S. withdrew from the INF Treaty in 2017. “We have already said more than once that the appearance of U.S. medium-range and shorter-range capabilities in any region of the world will mean our rejection of the moratorium you mentioned,” he said, when TASS asked whether Russia would continue to adhere to the moratorium, given that the U.S. has deployed Typhon ground-based missile systems in the Philippines, which the INF Treaty had previously banned.

“When it will happen is an open question. The moratorium was announced by the president. So, any decisions in this regard are made at the highest level. The Americans know very well that the period of relative stability in this area will end for them, but they are taking another other path,” the diplomat went on to say.

Russia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov echoed Ryabkov’s warning, in reply to media questions yesterday: Asked: “How could you comment on the U.S.-Philippines military exercises Salaknib 24 taking place these days? According to statements made by the U.S. Army, as part of the exercises, elements of the Typhon intermediate-range missile system were airlifted from the State of Washington, U.S.A. to Luzon?”

Antonov replied: “The Pentagon’s public demonstration of its capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region for the rapid deployment of missile weapons previously banned under the INF Treaty raises deep concern. The U.S. side is bringing an entire class of destabilizing weapons out of the shadows to ensure its military superiority over opponents.”

Antonov emphasized: “Such steps represent another powerful blow to strategic stability. Asia has already accumulated a lot of ‘hot’ material, and the region is rapidly militarizing,” Antonov said in his reply. As the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command has said, the U.S. forces for the first time deployed a medium-range missile system of the Mid-Range Capability (MRC) class.

Antonov also charged that “The United States is purposefully escalating the level of military confrontation and fueling hotbeds of tension. They are creating new closed groupings and military-political alliances in the Asia-Pacific region. Thus, Washington is trying to return the world to the darkest times of the Cold War and balancing on the brink of a nuclear conflict,” he said, referring to the U.S.-led effort to create a de facto military alliance also involving Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Australia.