We have taken note of an article posted on the US Department of Defence website saying that missile defence is allegedly becoming an element of rivalry between the great powers. Citing an unnamed Pentagon official, the article claims that Russia and China are developing several increasingly sophisticated missile defence systems in the context of rivalry with the United States. As follows from the text, the US military sees this as a threat.

We take this post as part of a targeted disinformation campaign seeking to discredit Russia. Clearly, there are unscrupulous attempts to ascribe to us some aggressive and dangerous plans, this time in missile defence. Unmistakably, this is about the United States trying to justify its own large-scale and expensive programmes for creating and modernising weapons and plans to build up its military presence around the world. In order to substantiate these efforts by the United States to ensure overwhelming military superiority to the detriment of the security interests of other states, Pentagon propagandists are using the traditional “rivalry between powers” approach.

By itself, this fake news usually does not contain an in-depth analysis or even a balanced reflection of the situation. The attempts to create the appearance of a “responsible” US approach to anti-missiles made in the article do not hold water and are doomed from the start. We can begin by saying that Washington threw out the 1972 ABM Treaty, thus destroying one of the pillars of the global strategic stability system. Of course, the article doesn’t mention this. The fact that the United States has carried out numerous destabilising anti-missile projects is not mentioned, either.

Notably, the US military is deploying strategic missile defence infrastructure not only within the national boundaries of the United States, but around the world, which makes it a global system in nature. Washington is also thinking about developing the space segment of its missile defence system, in fact, planning to deploy attack weapons in outer space. In addition, in the context of missile defence at the doctrine level, the Pentagon has left open the possibility of delivering preventive “disarming” strikes against other countries in order to destroy missiles before they are launched. Moreover, the United States claims these are defensive actions.

It is important to understand that the fast-expanding architecture of the US missile defence system is changing the strategic balance of forces in the sphere of offensive weapons, creates major additional global instability risks and contributes to forming dangerous conditions for stepping up a nuclear and space arms race.

Russia has repeatedly expressed concern over unilateral and unrestricted US moves to deploy a global missile defence system. After the United States scrapped the ABM Treaty, Russia has more than once come up with initiatives designed to remove any “annoyances” and to establish cooperation in the anti-missile sphere. Washington and its allies have refused to move in this direction and are reluctant to take Russia’s interests into account. So, the desire to shift onto us the responsibility for the situation created by the United States is at least unseemly.

Once again, we urge Washington to take a responsible position and to take a critical look at its missile defence plans, which, if implemented, will not be beneficial for the security of either the United States or its allies. It would also be helpful to abandon these tactics of shifting responsibility to others, which is undignified behaviour for a great power, in order to divert the attention of Americans and the entire international community from their own actions of seeking to ratchet up tensions and break the international stability system.

More than ever before, the world doesn’t need rivalry, which the current US administration is betting on, but cooperation, especially in security. We are ready to discuss missile defence issues with the United States as part of a bilateral strategic dialogue.