Your respected Newspaper published the articles “Russia’s ‘saber-rattling’ threat to stability — US” and “US sees Russia, China military threat” on June 27, 2015, and July 3, 2015.
I feel obliged to comment on them because the allegations of Russia’s “saber-rattling” and singling out Russia as aggressive and threatening are not based on real facts.
The new military doctrine adopted by Russia in December 2014 retains its emphasis on defensive character of military policies and commitment of our country to non-use of force and peaceful means of solving conflicts. The fundamental principles of using the Armed Forces of Russia, including its nuclear arsenal, remain the same. Furthermore, in the spirit of the decisions made at the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference the military doctrine became somewhat less dependent on nuclear weapons by introducing new term of “non-nuclear deterrence”. I would like to stress that Russia’s military doctrine does not list any country or group of countries as a threat unlike the new US military strategy that singles out Russia as aggressive and threatening to U.S. security interests.
The NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is quoted as saying that “It’s a rhetoric on nuclear activities which are completely unjustified… And they are destabilizing.” But actually the system of global stability is destabilized primarily by the unilateral steps taken by the United States. First and foremost I mean their unilateral withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The situation has been aggravated further by the accelerated and unrestricted build-up of the global missile defense system by the United States, its unwillingness to free the territory of other States from the US tactical nuclear arsenal deployed there, the development of the “Prompt Global Strike” strategy and the exaggerated build-up of conventional armaments, including their offensive component.
Russia is not interested in arms race but Russian leaders are responsible for the security and defense of their Motherland. Such concerns have nothing to do with “saber-rattling.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently announced that “…this year we will supply more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to our nuclear force. They will be capable of overcoming any most technically advanced anti-missile defense systems.” (emphasis mine). Those missiles are not “additional,” they would replace the older ones to modernize the capabilities of the Russian military which is in full compliance with the relevant international arms control regimes.
As for the statements of President Putin on Crimea, it was clarified by the Russian Ministry of Defense that military experts made a suggestion to the President to use “all available means” to demonstrate readiness on the Russian side to protect its national interests. President Putin then commented that “despite all difficulty and drama of the situation, the Cold War is over and we do not need an international crisis akin to the Caribbean crisis. Moreover the situation did not call for such actions and it would have contradicted our own national interests.”
The Embassy of the Russian Federation is open to contacts and partnership with you and will be ready to assist in any matters with regards to objective and truthful coverage of the Russian foreign policy.
Ilya E. Perenkov,