A LEADING Russian official has warned that Russia is preparing for war in the wake of the US’s unilateral withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), in a sign of growing tensions between the two foes.
Andrei Belousov, deputy head of the Department of Nonproliferation and Arms Control at the Russian Foreign Minister, raised concern over future conflict between the US and Russia, stating that Moscow will defend its territorial integrity and principles in response to US aggression.
Mr Belousov made his remarks after the First Committee of the UN General Assembly voted against a draft resolution to the INF proposed by Russia in support of the treaty.
He said: “Here recently at the meeting, the United States said that Russia is preparing for war.
“We are preparing to defend our homeland, our territorial integrity, our principles, our values, our people - we are preparing for such a war.”
However, Mr Belousov underlined that Russia was merely defending itself against increasing threats, and accused the US of being the catalyst of aggression.
He said: “Linguistically, this difference is in just one word, both in Russian and in English; Russia is preparing for war, and the US is preparing for war.
“Otherwise, why would the United States withdraw from the treaty, build up its nuclear potential and adopt a new nuclear doctrine?”
He also took aim at the UN General Assembly for refusing to hear Russia’s draft resolution to the INF, which was aimed at protecting the landmark treaty.