Chief Of Russian General Staff Believes Us Withdrawal From Abm Treaty Will Not Cause Military Problems To Russia

The expected US unilateral withdrawal from the 1972 ABM Treaty will "untie the hands to a number of governments" and change the whole system of strategic stability and, practically, launch another round of arms race, General of the Army Anatoli Kvashnin, the Chief of the Russian General Staff, was quoted as saying on Thursday following negotiations with his French counterpart Jean Pierre Kelche. "Russia's point of view is that there will be no military complications," the Russian General stressed. According to him, "a new treaty should have been developed before withdrawing from the present one." He added that the ABM Treaty had been signed during the "cold war" when both sides understood that escalating the arms race would result in self-destruction. This document, as well as other agreements, such as the START-1, START-2 and the Intermediate-range and Shorter-range Missiles Elimination Treaty, became the cornerstone of international strategic stability, especially in the sphere of control and inspections. Jean Pierre Kelche, in his turn, stated that he had no right to evaluate US President's position adding that France was paying particular attention to the issues of strategic stability and security and believed that the future of the world depended on coordinating the steps of the international community.

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