Russian Expert On Russia's Reaction To U.s. Withdrawal From Abm Treaty

Sergei Rogov, director of the U.S.A. and Canada Studies Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, believes that Russia should not "automatically" withdraw from all arms-control agreements after the United States' decision to desert the ABM treaty. Rogov voiced this viewpoint at a press conference on Friday after his return from a business trip to the United States. Russia "should not yield to emotions and help those who want to bury the antiballistic missile defense treaty", stressed the Russian expert. To him, the matter of the ABM treaty "has not yet been ultimately closed". Rogov's reasoning stems from the fact that on the matter of withdrawal the American administration has "developed a split between the moderate and those who believe that the United States does not have to observe the rules of the game" in the international arena. A number of influential Democratic congressmen who would like to ban bankrolling of the national antiballistic missile defense in the United States are against deserting the ABM treaty, said Rogov. To him, having declared withdrawal from the antiballistic missile treaty, the United States has demonstrated its "desire to have a free hand and lack of desire to rank anybody equal". In the opinion of Rogov, technically speaking it was not necessary for the United States to withdraw from the ABM treaty because "a system of antimissile defense has not yet been created and there's nothing to deploy". Washington "could have conducted tests for another several years without wrecking the terms of the existing treaty", believes the Russian expert.

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