Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Syria, Afghanistan, and US INF Treaty Withdrawal
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (MZ below) continues to call conditions in Syria “tense.”
Conflict is far from resolved. Russia/Turkey agreed on Idlib province demilitarized zone terms were rejected by US-supported al-Nusra and allied terrorists.
They likely acted on orders from Washington, going all-out to prevent conflict resolution, wanting it continued for regime change.
“The situation in northeastern Syria, where the Americans are still trying to dally with the separatist-minded Kurdish groups continues to cause concern,” MZ explained, adding:
“The same is going on in southern Syria, the At-Tanf region, where US forces openly occupy the territory of the sovereign Syrian state.”
ISIS and other US-supported terrorists “found shelter in the 55-kilometer exclusive zone, arbitrarily established by the Americans, demanding that civilians who want to leave pay an exit fee of $2,000 per person.”
US-led terror-bombing massacres civilians repeatedly, the high crime of war virtually ignored by Western media.
Obsessing over Jamal Khashoggi’s murder by the Saudis, they’re virtually silent about Riyadh’s alliance with US wars of aggression.
They’re responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths in Iraq and Syria alone, mostly civilians, along with hundreds of thousands more in Yemen, maybe millions before US-orchestrated, Saudi/UAE aggression ends, including from terror-bombing civilian areas, mass starvation and untreated diseases.
MZ: “…October marks exactly one year since the (rape and destruction) of Raqqa by” US-led NATO terror-bombing.
“The city was…wiped off the face of the earth with dead bodies lying everywhere, (countless others rotting beneath rubble), as a result of massive air strikes and artillery attacks. Notably, 80% percent of the city is not suitable for living” – the world community silent about one of history’s great crimes.
The same is true for Mosul, Iraq, turned to rubble by relentless US-led terror-bombing, tens of thousands of defenseless civilians massacred in cold blood.
US-supported ISIS increasingly infests Afghanistan, their presence virtually unreported by Western media. Russia is falsely accused of “overstating” the threat, said MZ, stressing:
“We do not consider our assessments of the threats emanating from ISIS in Afghanistan to be exaggerated.”
“ISIS members continue to reinforce their positions in the northern provinces of the country, conducting aggressive propaganda among the local population.”
“They regularly commit large-scale terrorist attacks. We also repeatedly have drawn attention to flights by unidentified helicopters carrying weapons and new recruits to their bases.”
Clearly they’re US-led NATO ones, supporting the scourge of terrorism Washington and its imperial partners pretend to oppose.
Trump’s announced INF Treaty withdrawal, over phony accusations of Russian violations, is all about launching an arms race, risking greater wars of aggression than already, including the ominous threat of possible nuclear war by accident or design.
MZ: “We are…gravely concerned about…Trump(’s) inten(tion) to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and to start developing weapons systems banned by the Treaty.”
“We believe that this would become one of the most dangerous mistakes among Washington’s recent moves to withdraw from a number of international agreements and organizations.”
“These steps appear to be frantic attempts by the United States to slow down historical processeses which it is unable to control and is striving to obtain dominant positions in various areas, including the military sphere. All this merely serves to make international relations more turbulent.”
Wrecking the INF Treaty is hugely dangerous and destabilizing, virtually guaranteeing an arms race, including the buildup of banned short and intermediate-range nukes – based on fabricated “far-fetched pretexts.”
Russia believes the international community will reject Trump’s action. What world leaders do, not say, in response to the reckless move alone matters.
If past is prologue, Western ones are unlikely to let anything from Washington damage their relationship, no matter how egregious.
Allying with US wars of aggression against nations threatening no one indicates how they’ll react to Trump’s INF pullout.
They may complain publicly while maintaining strong ties to Washington.
To its discredit, Russia acts the same way, noted by MZ saying “we are also determined to continue working with the US” – instead of responsibly challenging its unacceptable actions, including extreme hostility toward Moscow.
At the same time, MZ said in connection with wrecking the INF Treaty, Washington “is conducting an all-out propaganda campaign, and is trying to convince everyone that this move was provoked by Russian violations.”
“This is absolutely unacceptable because it is not true. The US side has so far failed to present us with any evidence for substantiating its claims.”
They’re baseless. “Russia has unfailingly honored the Treaty’s provisions.” America breached it by its actions, blaming Russia for its own violations – the way it always operates, blaming others for its high crimes and unacceptable policies.
MZ: “(W)e have shown utmost patience and restraint for many years, while noting direct and obvious violations of the INF Treaty by the United States.”
“Today we are forced to issue a very stern warning to Washington that if the US side wrecks the treaty we will be forced to respond.”
Putin explained that “Russia will respond instantly and symmetrically.” Moscow rejects US “attempts to dictate its will and blackmail others.”
Its rejection hasn’t translated into policy measures tough enough to get Washington’s full attention – why Republicans and undemocratic Dems believe they can do anything unaccountably.
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