MOSCOW, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- The risk of a nuclear war in modern times exists due to the policy of some Western countries, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Thursday.
"There is a risk that a nuclear war could break out," TASS news agency quoted Ryabkov as saying at a presentation of a report on multilateral strategic stability.
"They (Western countries' diplomats) avoid discussions of urgent issues, block the work of dialogue channels, continue undermining the architecture of arms control, purposefully draw a frankly destructive line to scrape up effective treaty mechanisms in the field of security and stability that have been developing over decades," he said.
According to the high-ranking diplomat, strategic stability should take all factors affecting international security into consideration. Also, it implies a state in which the nuclear powers should prevent actions that could lead to dangerous imbalances in nuclear deterrence or increase the risk of a war.
The United States has stubbornly evaded a discussion over the multilateral approach to arms control and strategic stability, Ryabkov said, and the method, if any, should take into account the nuclear capabilities of Britain, France, and U.S. allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
The extension of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), which will expire in 2021, would allow more time to determine the entire configuration of the nuclear missile weapons control, Ryabkov said, but Washington continues reeling on the extension issue despite Russia's proposal to prolong the agreement for five or less years.
He said Russia does not exclude the possibility that the United States has already taken a course to lower the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, and Russia does not believe that the system of arms control agreements has lost relevance.
Moscow still counts on the readiness of Washington to resume full-fledged negotiations on ensuring strategic stability and global security, Ryabkov said.