Russia's rearmament is in violation of an important 1987 US-Soviet treaty and Washington has ways to make Moscow stick to it, says United States Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control Frank A. Rose.

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Rusijos raketos "Iskander"
© RIA/Scanpix

Russia has been vehemently opposing NATO anti-missile defence, arguing it poses a threat to Russia's strategic nuclear arsenal.

"This is simply not true," Rose has told DELFI. "NATO's anti-missile defence, whose primary operational capacity we hope to confirm in NATO's summit in Warsaw this July, is intended to counteract risks arising from beyond the Euro-Atlantic space, but it is not directed against Russia."

He says that Russia has developed and deployed ballistic rockets SS-27 Topol-M and SS-18 Satan and that the anti-missile defence developed by NATO could in no way threaten these systems.

While Russia and the United States have signed a number of arms control treaties, Moscow has failed to uphold the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

"Back in 2014, the US has stated that Russia does not keep its commitment not to test ballistic or cruise missiles with a range between 500km and 5,500km," Rose says.

He adds that influential diplomats have urged Russians to admit the violation and stick to commitments.

"Unfortunately, diplomacy was not successful. This does not mean that diplomatic options have been exhausted - we continue approaching Russians through diplomatic channels and experts, but unsuccessfully," Rose says.

Asked what the US would do, if Russians did not respond, Rose says Washington will do all it can to avoid going beyond diplomacy.

"I'll be frank - we want to as much as possible avoid the cycle of responding to Russian actions, which is why we continue with diplomatic actions," Rose says, adding that he would not want to speculate what would need to happen for Washington to conclude that diplomatic means have been exhausted.

"Our patience is not limitless. Whatever we do, we will do it after consulting our allies," he says.

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