Media reports on the possible deployment of U.S. missiles in Europe targeting Russian military sites are hardly an act of blackmail, Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (CFDP) head Fyodor Lukyanov has said.
In his opinion, the U.S. is worried by a lack of trust in contacts with Moscow regarding such commitments and is trying to use this peculiar method to restore confidence. "Undeniably, the very fact that they are allowing for a possibility of this tone of conversation is very upsetting. This is not a situation we used to have 18 months ago or even a month before. It seems the reports posted by the U.S. media allow for the Cold War rhetoric whenever the conversation shifts to the field of arms race threats, a nuclear arms race included," Lukyanov told Interfax.
On the other hand, the U.S. media reports do not mean that Washington may try to blackmail Moscow. They are simply trying to restore confidence with the methods of doubtful efficiency, the policy expert said.
"I believe that the Americans are not seeking agreement on the resolution of conflicts, either in Ukraine or in Syria, but something else. It is possible that they wish to restore mutual understanding as to what we should do and what we should not. In this context, the need to regain that level of confidence is apparent. But no one is sure that the methods which Washington is using, judging by this media leak, will be efficient or help to restore confidence," the expert said.
He said he was implying the level of confidence Moscow and Washington used to have in the issue of their arms control commitments. "The arms control regime, a cornerstone of the Cold War or, to be more precise, deterrence and risk management, was based on a sort of trust. The sides did not have confidence in each other in general and remained probable enemies, but they had a certain level of trust in the fulfillment of their agreements. Those agreements were reached with great difficulty but they were reached and fulfilled just the same," he said.
"From the point of view of the seriousness of U.S. intentions, I believe this is an attempt to influence Moscow and to draw it into a discussion on arms limitations and reductions, because claims of the alleged non-fulfillment of the INF Treaty by Russia have been constantly made in recent years. Naturally, Moscow is angrily rejecting the allegations and reproaching Washington for cunning attempts to avoid a conversation on this subject," Lukyanov said.
The Associated Press wrote that the United States was eyeing the possible deployment in Europe of nuclear missiles targeting Russian military sites.
It said Washington was prepared to make the move because of its alleged possession of information about Russian violations of the 1988 INF Treaty.
U.S. officials said that for now they would prefer to convince Moscow of the need to honor the treaty.
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