Russia blames U.S. for disintegration of int’l arms control system

MOSCOW. March 28 (Interfax) – The United States is responsible for undermining the international arms control system, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said.

“The U.S. has definitively undermined the international arms control system, destroying the mechanisms of the treaties on missile defense, conventional armed forces in Europe, intermediate- and shorter-range missiles, open skies, putting the security of the whole planet in jeopardy,” Patrushev said at a meeting with his Algerian colleague on Monday.

Russia is not seeking to overthrow the Kyiv regime in the course of its special operation in Ukraine, he said.

“The goal of our special operation in Ukraine is not Kyiv regime change, as the West is trying to interpret it, but the people’s protection from genocide and Ukraine’s demilitarization and denazification,” Patrushev said at the meeting.

The Russian operation “was only a response to Kyiv’s criminal steps toward those republics [Donetsk People’s Republic, or DPR, and Luhansk People’s Republic, or LPR], a timely and preemptive measure,” he said.

“Documents have been found which prove that Kyiv was preparing a large-scale attack and intended to eliminate the DPR and LPR,” Patrushev said.

Ukraine deployed nearly 100,000 troops near its eastern borders in early 2022, he said.

“By the beginning of 2022, the Kyiv authorities completely and openly refused to implement the Minsk Agreements on a peaceful settlement in Donbas, declared plans to develop nuclear weapons, and concentrated nearly 100,000 troops with heavy weapons near Ukraine’s eastern borders,” Patrushev said.

The Russian forces are not striking urban areas and civilian infrastructure, he said.

“As part of the special operation, strikes are being delivered, including with precision-guided weapons, upon key strongholds, airfields, weapons depots, and concentrations of the Ukrainian army’s military hardware,” he said.

“We are now completing the collection of evidence concerning U.S. military-biological activities on the territory of Ukraine,” Patrushev said.

“Washington-controlled Ukraine was used for creating threats to the whole civilized world. I mean, in particular, the secret U.S. military-biological programs implemented on its territory, and also plans to create nuclear weapons,” he said.

“This requires special attention from the entire civilized world, because only the U.S. has not joined the protocol on mutual control under the international Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. Besides, the U.S. is the only state in history to have used all types of weapons of mass destruction against sovereign countries,” Patrushev said.

The Russian Defense Ministry earlier said work was being done on territory of Ukraine on the creation of biological weapons under the military-biological programs of the United States and its NATO allies.

Russian Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Troops head Igor Kirillov said on March 10 that U.S. biological laboratories in Ukraine could have been used for developing ethnic-specific biological materials.

Meanwhile, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. is not developing biological weapons on the territory of Ukraine.

Russia has not yet introduced all measures of response to sanctions imposed by the West, but the situation in Europe has already become seriously complicated, Nikolai Patrushev said.

“Though Russia has not yet introduced its response measures in full, the prices for energy and food have already spiked in European countries. A whole number of companies are scaling back their operations, a circumstance which is seriously complicating the socioeconomic situation in the Old World against the backdrop of growing migration flows,” he said.

The U.S. made its European allies “join the illegitimate anti-Russian sanctions to the detriment of their own interests,” Patrushev said.

“As it was during World War II, the Americans’ goal is obvious – it is to weaken Europe and to cause as much damage as possible to its relations with Russia, but create indisputable advantages [for the U.S.] for further economic development,” he said.