A Russian diplomat has both confirmed and denied what US war hawks have been calling out. Moscow is indeed preparing for war, he said – just in case the US starts one.
Speaking at the UN on Friday, Andrey Belousov, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of Nonproliferation and Arms Control, said that Russia is indeed readying itself for war, so it can defend its people against American aggression.
At a recent meeting, the US stated that Russia is preparing for war. Yes, Russia is preparing for war, I can confirm it.
Russia’s military build-up and large-scale drills, often painted in the Western media as preparations for all-out war, are a defensive necessity, he said.
“We are preparing to defend our homeland, our territorial integrity, our principles, our values, our people.”
Russia doesn’t seek a confrontation, he said, unlike the US. “Why else would the United States pull out of the [INF] Treaty, increase their nuclear potential, adopt a new nuclear doctrine that lowers the threshold for nuclear weapons use – that’s the question for us all.”
“Russia is preparing ‘for war,’ while the US is preparing ‘war.'”
Belousov’s words came after a Russian draft resolution to reinforce the INF Treaty, which bans intermediate-range nuclear weapons, was overwhelmingly rejected at the UN First Committee. “Most of those who voted against were supporters of the INF Treaty. I don’t understand their position,” Belousov said. Among those who voted down the draft were the UK, Germany, France, and, of course, the US.
Washington’s decision to scrap the Cold War-era agreement alarmed both Europe and Moscow, which warned it would”make the world a more dangerous place” and vowed retaliation.
Washington has accused Russia of building missiles prohibited by the INF, while Moscow argued that American missile defense complexes in Europe can be easily turned into offensive weapons. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that if the US moves to deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe, it will put the whole of Europe at risk of a retaliatory strike.