Russia said it cannot take seriously a call by US President Barack Obama for Moscow to cut its nuclear arms to third, arguing that Washington is still developing its nuclear capabilities.
Obama on Wednesday called on Russia to agree strategic nuclear weapons cuts of up to a third and to also rein in strategic atomic arms.
In a major speech in Berlin, Obama also committed to attend a Nuclear Security summit, designed to deprive terror groups of nuclear materials, in The Hague next year and to hold his own in his last year as president in 2016.
“These are steps we can take to create a world of peace with justice”, Obama said, speaking with Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate as a backdrop.
Russian news agencies quoted Russian President Vladidmir Putin as saying: “We cannot allow the balance of the system of strategic deterrence to be disturbed or the effectiveness of our nuclear force to be decreased”.
After Obama’s speech, Russian deputy primeminister Dmitry Rogozin suggested that US President’s plan was a non-starter while Washington was developing its missile defense systems.
“How can we take seriously this idea about cuts in strategic nuclear potential while the United States is developing its” capabilities to intercept Russia’s weapons, Rogozin asked.
“Clearly, (Russia’s) political leadership cannot take these assurances seriously”, said Rogozin, who oversees the defense sector and the nuclear industry, according to the state-owned Itar-TASS news agency.
“The offence arms race leads to a defense arms race and vice versa”, he said, speaking after a government meeting in Saint Petersburg that focused on Russia’s defense sector.
Source: Al Manar