US and Russia trade barbs at UN over ‘new arms race’

UNITED NATIONS, United States, Russia and the US

traded accusations at the United Nations Thursday of risking a new arms race

as China said it would play no part in any new missile deal.

The United States and Moscow ditched the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces

(INF) treaty after blaming each other for violating the accord.

Deputy Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Dmitry Polyanskiy told the

Security Council that Washington's testing of a ground-launched missile

earlier this week showed America is ready for an arms race.

Russia had requested the meeting after the US tested a type of missile that

was banned under the 1987 INF agreement, which restricted such medium-range

weapons.

Polyanskiy added that Russia, on the other hand, was ready for serious

dialogue over arms control, accusing European countries of tolerating the

US's actions.

The Russian Federation and China would still like a world where the United

States exercises self-restraint while they continue their arms buildups

unabated and unabashed, said his US counterpart Jonathan Cohen.

US flight tests to develop a ground-launched, conventional capability are

neither provocative nor destabilizing. We will not stand idle, he added.

The missile tested on Sunday was a version of the nuclear-capable Tomahawk

cruise missile. The ground-launched version of the Tomahawk was removed from

service after the INF was ratified.

The US launch came weeks after a deadly explosion at a Russian testing

site, which Western experts linked to Moscow's attempts to develop a nuclear-

powered missile.

The blast killed five scientists and caused a spike in radiation levels,

although Russian authorities have remained tightlipped on the nature of the

explosion.

What exactly happened on August 8th in Russia? What caused the explosion,

what system was it, and what purpose does that system serve? Cohen added.

He said the US was interested in serious arms control that includes China

and goes beyond treaties focused on limited types of nuclear weapons or

missile ranges.

But China's UN ambassador, Zhang Jun, said Beijing has no interest in

being part of any arms control treaty with Russia and the US.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)