Russia appeals to Europeans to heed U.S. INF exit, warns of new arms race

Development of the S-400 system began in the late 1980s, and the system was announced by the Russian Air Force in January 1993.

Russia’s deputy UN envoy on Thursday appealed to European countries to heed the United States’ recent withdrawal from a Cold War arms control treaty and warned of a possible new arms race.

At a Security Council meeting, Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s acting permanent representative to the United Nations, called on the Europeans to act to prevent the deployment of U.S. intermediate-range missiles on their continent.

After exiting from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on Aug. 2, the United States recently conducted a flight test of a ground-launched cruise missile, which the treaty would have prohibited.

Recalling a failed push by Russia at the United Nations to support the INF Treaty last year, Polyanskiy said: “Are you (European member states) happy today that in December you preferred to press the red button? Do you really not understand that you are returning to a situation where missiles are targeting European cities from different sides?”

He warned that the demise of the INF Treaty would not just undermine parts of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, but would also lead to a new arms race.

Addressing the Europeans, he said, because of the U.S. geopolitical ambitions, “we are all one step from an arms race that could not be controlled or regulated in any way.”