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Vladimir Yermakov gives a keynote speech at the Trialogue Club international meeting


MOSCOW, APRIL 3, 2018. PIR PRESS. – “We really have quite serious problems in arms control. Nothing similar happened before. The trend we seemed to notice in the 1990s has become history. In Russia, we had illusions that we could have normal partnership dialogue with Western countries. On our part, we have done practically everything possible for this dialogue,” - Vladimir Yermakov, Director of the Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control of the Russian MFA.

On March 27, the Trialogue Club International together with the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian MFA and PIR Center hosted a meeting devoted to the “Key Challenges to Arms Control and Nonproliferation. Russian Diplomacy Approaches and Prospects for International Cooperation”. Vladimir Yermakov, Director of the Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control of the Russian MFA, gave a keynote speech at the session. Evgeny Buzhinskiy, Chairman of the Trialogue Club International and the Chairman of PIR Center’s Executive Board, moderated the meeting. Among the participants of the meeting were the members of the Trialogue Club International, foreign diplomats and defense attaches, Russian experts and scholars of the Institute of Contemporary International Studies of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian MFA. The meeting was held under the Chatham House rule.

Vladimir Yermakov presented the Russian point of view on the arms control issues pointing out the deterioration of the situation since the 1990s. The main reason for this is the actions of the United States and those of the Western countries that are incapable of pursuing an independent policy in the sphere of international security. Vladimir Yermakov highlighted that the United States initiated the adoption of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and setting of the deadline for chemical weapons destruction by 2007, but has not fulfilled its obligations and retains the largest stockpile of chemical weapons. On the contrary, Russia fulfilled the requirements of the Convention by having destroyed 40,000 tons of toxic agents by November 2017 “under a very rigid control of OPCW.” According to the diplomat, in this regard the recent provocation of the UK, US and some other states related to the poisoning of 2 Russians in the UK looks absolutely unjustified. 

Biological weapons were also discussed at the meeting. Vladimir Yermakov indicated that the US refused to accept an additional protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) that includes a verification mechanism at the last moment, and since the early 2000s, “the U.S. Department of Defence under the pretext of providing assistance has been establishing military biological labs around Russian borders.” Among other debts of the US, Vladimir Yermakov emphasized the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, whose ratification is officially off the US administration’s agenda.

Vladimir Yermakov paid attention to the US violations of the START Treaty. From the Russian perspective, those include Hera rockets, drones that can carry WMD, as well as Mk 41 missile launchers in Poland and Romania. Yermakov also pointed out that the program of creation of target missiles may cover an attempt of technological development of short and middle-range ballistic missiles.

He emphasized that despite of the official claims of fulfilling the provisions of the New START made on February 5, 2018, the US reached the limits not only by actual arms elimination, but also by reclassification of some of its strategic offensive arms, which is inconsistent with the provisions of the Treaty.

In answer to the question on the opportunities to restore trust between Russia and the US, Vladimir Yermakov pointed out, “What we really need is a stable and predictable US administration. Simply tell us whom to deal with and, please, provide for a constructive dialogue. Just let us sit at the table and discuss everything, not through mass media, without telling that Russia is guilty or Russia must do certain things.” At the same time, from his point of view, other countries have to “simply express their own position and do not be shy to voice it” and without following the stance of Washington.

During the second part of the meeting, Evgeny Buzhinskiy said that the civil war in Syria remains the most dangerous crisis nowadays: “Our intelligence is warning of possible provocations which could be used by the US as a pretext for hitting Damascus with cruise missiles. If you remember the unprecedented statement made by the Russian Chief of the General Staff, General Gerasimov, since there are Russian servicemen, policemen and Center for reconciliation operating in this area, in case of an American attack, Russian forces in Syria and those in the Mediterranean will intercept the cruise missiles and deliver retaliatory blows on the their carriers. Since almost all the US cruise missiles are delivered from naval ships in the Mediterranean, a Russian blow against the US would mean war.”

The participants of the meeting concluded that to improve the situation in the sphere of arms control, one should avoid provocations and establish a constructive dialogue between parties, firstly between Russia and the United States.

To become a member of the Trialogue Club International in 2018, participate in the future meetings and receive exclusive analytics bulletin Russia Confidential and other materials from the Trialogue Club International and its partners please contact the Club Secretary Yuliya Tseshkovskaya by phone: +7 (985) 764-98-96 or email: [email protected].