Russian Military Leader Does Not Rule Out Possibility Of U.S. Unilateral Withdrawal From ABM Treaty

The US possible withdrawal from the ABM treaty will not do irreparable damage to Russian national and military security, deputy head of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces colonel-general Yuri Baluyevsky told a press conference on Friday. "If the USA withdraws from the ABM treaty no threat will appear to Russia's national and military security," he said. At the same time Baluyevsky pointed out that the possible withdrawal of the USA will have negative consequences for the world stability. "Such a step on the part of the USA will, certainly, lead to a new spiral in creating the delivery vehicles of mass destruction weapons, and to accelerated development of missile programmes. It is clear that the world will not become more stable, Baluyevsky stressed. He also declared that "Russia does not have any grounds so far to say that the USA openly violates the ABM treaty, but its separate actions point to the fact that it is close to violating a number of its provisions". "We are planning to hold consultations with the Americans...but I do not rule out the possibility that the USA will decide to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty," the general said.