Muslim Times(Web Desk) – The Kremlin strongly rejects the allegations that Russia has been violating any arms control agreements, stressing that Moscow does not seek to be part of an arms race.
“We categorically reject any accusations that Russia is violating any provisions and articles of international law on disarmament and arms control,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call on Friday.
He emphasized that Russia has no plan to “get dragged into any arms race.”
Delivering his annual state of the nation speech in Moscow on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that his country would regard any use of nuclear weapons against its allies as a “nuclear attack” on itself and give an “instant” response.
The new American policy allows the use of nuclear weapons “in response to a conventional attack or even a cyberthreat,” the Russian president said, adding, “Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons only in response to a nuclear attack or an attack with other weapons of mass destruction against her or her allies, or a conventional attack against us that threatens the very existence of the state.”
The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which was released in February, came largely to counter Russia and China, effectively ending efforts by former US President Barack Obama to reduce the size and scope of the US arsenal and minimize the role of nuclear weapons in the country’s military doctrine.
US President Donald Trump has reportedly asked his generals to see if it is possible to arm the US Navy’s warships with nuclear weapons, a strategy that seems to fall in line with his order to review America’s nuclear posture.
After President Putin revealed a new nuclear weapon which he said makes nuclear defense systems “useless,” the United States military said it is fully prepared to defend the country against any nuclear threat.
“We’re not surprised by the statement, and the American people should rest assured that we are fully prepared,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White told reporters on Thursday after Putin’s announcement.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders also on Thursday accused Russia of developing destabilizing weapons systems for over a decade in direct violations of its treaty obligations.
Elsewhere in his comments, Peskov pointed to the Russian president’s annual state of the nation speech and reiterated that Moscow should not be seen as a threat.
“Russia is not going to attack anyone, and these weapons do not present a danger to anyone who is not hatching plans to attack our country,” the Kremlin spokesman said.
“Russia will not respond symmetrically to US plans and the ongoing work to deploy missile defense systems. We are talking about an asymmetric response,” he added.
Also on Thursday, Putin told NBC in an interview that an arms race effectively started again when the US pulled out of the Soviet-era Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty under former President George W. Bush.