A new arms deal to replace the now-defunct Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is needed, but with the participation of many states, as proposed by China, the Russian President's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.
Commenting on Trump's proposal to create a new treaty, Preskov noted that Trump echoed his previous calls for a deal that will also include China, which, according to the US president, gave its consent for such an arrangement. However, Peskov recalled that Beijing immediately refuted this claim, saying that it will do no such thing.
"[Putin] has said it on multiple occasions. The point is that, when talking about the demise of the INF and finding some sort of alternative for it, the talks should include other nations and not just Beijing. First and foremost, we should consider western Europe, where there are also intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles," Peskov said.
Peskov also added that Moscow is alarmed by NATO's plans to increase military expenditures, underlying that Russia will not engage in an arms race.
"[Russian President Vladimir] Putin has repeatedly said that Russia will not get involved in an arms race and an expense race that is detrimental to the economy. Putin has repeatedly stressed that we act in a different way in this case, there is parity in our security, in terms of strategic stability for a number of years, the future is guaranteed, and Russia continues to follow this path," Peskov told reporters when asked if Russia would increase defence spending in response to NATO's actions.
He said NATO was pursuing a policy of deterrence and expansion in relation to Russia.
The INF accord was terminated on 2 August at the initiative of the Trump administration, after Washington formally suspended its INF obligations six months earlier. Both countries have repeatedly accused each other of violating the deal which banned any ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometres (310 to 3,417 miles).