UNSC to brief Russia, China on U.S. plans to deploy medium-range missiles

Li Jiayao
2019-08-23 08:48:52

MOSCOW, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- United Nations Security Council will brief Russia and China, at their request, on U.S. plans to deploy land-based medium-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific region, Russia said Thursday.

"We considered it important to draw the attention of the international community to this issue," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a news briefing, referring to the request.

According to Zakharova, the briefing by UN under-secretary-general and high representative for disarmament affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu, is scheduled to be held at 3:00 p.m. New York time (1900 GMT) on Thursday.

"We are awaiting a frank exchange of views with colleagues and the high representative of the UN Secretary General," she said.

Zakharova said that Russia regarded U.S. plans to deploy missiles previously banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in the Asia-Pacific region as "only the first step."

After this, similar U.S. weapons can appear in other regions of the world, including Europe, posing a threat to international security, she said.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said earlier this month that he was in favor of placing ground-launched, intermediate-range missiles in Asia in the near future.

On Aug. 2, the United States and Russia withdrew from the INF treaty, a landmark 1987 arms control pact, after accusing each other of violating it.

The INF Treaty had banned the United States and Russia from having land-based missiles with a range of 500 km to 5,500 km.

On Monday, the Pentagon said in a statement that the United States tested a new ground-based conventional cruise missile which can hit a target more than 500 km from the launch site.

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