Russian Mp Thinks Russia Should Review Its Programme For Developing Strategic Forces

Russia's reaction to the US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty should be rational, rather than emotional. This view was expressed at a news conference in Moscow on Monday by Alexei Arbatov, deputy chairman of the State Duma's defence committee. The Russian parliamentarian noted that Russia's relations with the US are not limited to the problem of anti-missile defence, and that Russia should maintain cooperation with the US in all possible areas. Arbatov believes that Russia should "review its own programme for developing strategic forces". The deputy emphasised that Russia should invest money in those components where "we can have a technological edge". He includes among them first of all ground-based strategic nuclear forces. Organizationally, Arbatov thinks, it is necessary to restore missile forces as a fighting service, re-incorporating in them the associated fighting arms. At the same time, in the deputy's view, Russia may think of developing its own missile defence programme. But this should be a theatre missile defence system, rather than a national one, as the US wants to do. In Arbatov's view, protection of industrial centres and cities is more realistic. Besides, European countries and also Japan and South Korea may show an interest in cooperation in this field in the future, he thinks.