The creation of the US missile defense system makes Russia develop offensive arms, Russia’s PM Vladimir Putin said at a news conference in Moscow.
“The problem is that the USA is building the missile defense system while Russia is not – this is the problem. The system stipulates the use of new offensive arms, which ruins the balance of forces in the world,” Putin said.
The prime minister added that Moscow was ready to share the information about its offensive arms with the US in return to the information about Washington’s plans in the field of missile defense.
The existence of the START Treaty between Russia and the USA is better than its absence, Putin said.
The Russian PM added that Russia did not have any plans to build a similar system because it would be a very expensive burden for the nation, not to mention the fact that it may not be as effective as originally planned.
“The issues of the missile defense and offensive arms are interconnected. If there is no development in missile defense, a dangerous situation occurs. Our partners may feel absolutely safe once they create the anti-missile shield. They may decide that they can do anything they want. This may ruin the balance of forces, and they may start acting aggressively both in real politics and economy,” Putin said.
Putin said that Russia’s intention to develop offensive arms must not be an obstacle for resetting the relations with the United States.
Alexander Saveliev, a strategic research expert with the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that Putin’s stance regarding the US missile defense system was totally justifiable.
“It is clear that Russia cannot afford anything that would be reminiscent of the US missile defense system. The standard definition of strategic stability prompts the growth of offensive arms in return to the growth of defensive arms. However, Russia can not have more offensive arms than the USA does because we are going to sign the treaty regulating all the numbers.
“It may seem strange that Putin raised the issue against the background of warmer relations with the United States. It is obvious that it was not spontaneous; it means that there were reasons to speak about it,” Saveliev believes.
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now