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The expert commented on the U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty

US withdrawal from the Treaty on the elimination of intermediate and shorter-range missiles (INF Treaty) gave himself a free hand against China and the deployment of missiles in Asia, according to the Deputy Director of the Center for comprehensive European and international studies, faculty of world economy and international Affairs NRU HSE, member of the RIAC (Russian international Affairs Council) Dmitry Suslov.

Earlier, the Deputy Minister of defence of the Russian Federation Alexander Fomin said that Russia does not consider China's activities in the missile field as a security threat and reason for the destruction of the INF Treaty. Also, according to him, the statements of former adviser to the US President for homeland security John Bolton on the increasing threats from China are commonplace misrepresentation of the facts.

"I agree with the fact that the United States withdrew from the INF Treaty because of the Chinese factor, but with the fact that from China directly to the US intermediate-range and shorter-range is not threatened, because such missiles are simply not fly from China to American soil," - said Suslov RIA Novosti.

According to him, as the US carried out against China's policy of hard containment, including relying on the military factor, and considering China as a strategic enemy, they will not accept restraint on any issue in the case that under this same restriction does not fall within China, regardless of whether this is a direct threat to the US or not. "The United States also sought to free his hands for the intermediate-range and shorter-range ground-based in order to increase pressure on China, and Russia - here the factor of confrontation between the U.S. and Russia also took place", - the expert added.

"Although China is not represented and do not constitute an immediate threat to the United States in connection with the fact that he was not involved in the INF Treaty, whereby the Chinese Arsenal of intermediate-range and shorter-range, of course, creates a danger to the American military presence close to China in Asia", - said Suslov. He explained that the U.S., of course, would like to compensate for this lag and get the opportunity to host Asia's own missiles, which would threaten China, offsetting his advantage in this sector in the region.

The probability of placement of intermediate-range and shorter-range in Asia will depend on the further dynamics of U.S.-China relations and U.S. relations with Asian allies, primarily Japan and Australia, which are considered as potential places to embed these missiles, the expert believes.

"If they will be posted, which I doubt, in the short and medium term, this will sharply exacerbate the military-political situation in Asia will lead to further arms race," - said Suslov. According to him, the same effect can have accommodation in Europe.

"A real prospect of such publication while it seems to me hypothetical, because American allies, on whose territory such system in theory could accommodate, understand that they become primary targets and that in this case both Russia and China significantly adjust its nuclear doctrine," Suslov said. He recalled that Russia has recently published a document on nuclear strategy noted that it would consider ballistic missiles and their launch as a factor that may lead to the use of Russian nuclear weapons.

According to him, European and Asian countries understand that they can become the target for the first nuclear strike by Russia and China, if place American missiles. If the United States will deploy in the Asia-fired a medium-range and shorter-range land-based, China may abandon the principle of not using nuclear weapons first, said the expert.

"The likelihood of placement of these missiles in reality not very high, but in any case, the United States put a political check and untied his hands, removed his restriction, which restricts China, viewed as the main strategic enemy," he concluded.

The destruction of the Treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range nuclear forces (INF), one of the pillars of the global system of strategic stability, occurred after the U.S. decision in August 2019 to get out of it, ostensibly because of violations on the part of Russia. Washington has accused Moscow of developing and testing prohibited missiles 9М729 (SSC-8 according to NATO classification). In Moscow claim that the missile has allowed a range of less than 500 kilometers. China was not a party to the INF Treaty. This fact the United States also explained its intention to leave the agreement.