Russian foreign ministry hits out at UN over rejection of INF treaty

Russian foreign ministry hits out at UN over rejection of INF treaty

MOSCOW - The Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday that international security and stability will be further undermined after a draft resolution in support to the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) was rejected in a United Nations vote.

"A new blow was dealt to the architecture of international security and stability. Now, with the collapse of the INF Treaty, several regions of the world can be plunged into an arms race or even into direct confrontation," the ministry said on its website.

On Friday, the UN General Assembly voted down a resolution introduced by Russia last week in support of the preservation of the INF Treaty.

The ministry said the results of the voting "cannot but cause disappointment," noting that many countries well aware of the importance of the arms control agreement voted against it.

"With their connivance or thoughtless conciliation, these countries de facto gave their blessings to Washington to destroy the treaty," the ministry said.

In October, U.S. President Donald Trump said Washington would pull out of the INF Treaty on account of Russia's alleged breach of the agreement, which Moscow has repeatedly denied.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned against a collapse of the international arms deterrence system, which could aggravate the threat of a global nuclear catastrophe.

The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 between the Soviet Union and the United States on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles. The deal marked the first-ever pact reached by Washington and Moscow on nuclear disarmament and a major step forward in restricting arms race.