07:59 GMT +330 March 2017
    US troops land with parachutes at the military compound near Torun, central Poland, on June 7, 2016, as part of the NATO Anaconda-16 military exercise

    Russia Will Not Be Dragged Into a 'New Arms Race Imposed by US, NATO'

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    Russia will not let Western countries, first of all the United States, drag itself in a new arms race, according to Klaus Hartmann, a German political analyst and an expert in Russia-NATO relations.

    At a major press-conference on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow is not the one fueling an arms race with Washington. The basis for this process was created when the US withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, forcing Russia to invest in upgrading its military potential.

    "That was not our idea, we had to meet the challenge. I would like to stress that … we will never spend the amounts we cannot afford should we be involved in an arms race," the Russian president stressed.

    Putin added that Russia was acting in strict accordance with all international commitments, including the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

    Hartmann underscored that Putin’s remark once again proved that Russia is modernizing its military capabilities in response to NATO’s policy.

    "It’s absolutely clear that multiple efforts by NATO in recent years have been aimed at ending disarmament agreements. The US also violates international treaties by building a missile defense [in Europe]," the expert told Sputnik German.

    Earlier this week, Putin said that Russia is now "stronger than any potential aggressor."

    According to Hartmann, Putin’s message was no to say that Russia has the strongest military in the world, but a "warning" against any type of aggression.

    "The US president [Barack Obama] advocates for a world free of nuclear weapons, but in fact there has been a nuclear modernization underway in NATO’s European countries, including in Germany. There is simply no explanation to what the US and NATO are doing," the expert pointed out.

    According to French historian and journalist Laurent Henninger, the US is responsible for the current attempts to start a new global arms race.

    "They [the Americans] want to start a new arms race. This is what the US defense industry wants. Now, they're doing what they did during Ronald Raegan's presidency. They want a new arms race [against Moscow]. Putin knows that and he refuses to play this game," Henninger told Sputnik France.

    According to Russian senator Alexei Pushkov, Vladimir Putin gave a signal to the US that Washington's withdrawal from the ABM Treaty leads to instability within the global security system.

    "The Russian president has given a signal to Washington that Russia has a negative attitude to this situation, Vladimir Putin drew attention of [US President-elect Donald] Trump that the US withdrawal from the ABM creates instability in the world," Pushkov told RIA Novosti.

    The issue of anti-ballistic missile deployment remains one of the most complicated in relations between Moscow and Washington. In December 2002, the US announced it would unilaterally withdraw from the ABM Treaty with the Soviet Union. Signed in 1972, the agreement barred the parties from deploying anti-ballistic missile systems that could cover their entire territories or providing a base for such defense systems.

    At the press conference, President Putin also touched upon Russia’s military modernization program.

    Russia will never spend the amounts it cannot afford should it be involved in an arms race, as the country is doing the utmost to have 70 percent of modern weapons by 2021, he said.

    "I would like to stress that it is very important for our internal, domestic politics use, we will never spend the amounts we cannot afford should we be involved in an arms race," he added.

    The Russian president also commented on a recent call by US President-elect Donald Trump to reinforce US nuclear capabilities and its military.

    On Thursday, Trump wrote on his Twitter account that the US had to "greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes."

    ​"As for President-elect of the Unites States Donald Trump [and his comment on nuclear enhancement], there is nothing new. During his election campaign, he spoke about the necessity to strengthen US nuclear capabilities, its army, this is not surprising," Putin said.

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    • avatar
      Hartmanns points of view are at least conciliatory and non inflammatory yet his denial of the reasons for the military build up on Russia's borders is not only naive but untruthful.

      For European commentators to admit that they are party to a deliberate plan to destabilise the Russian government by exerting massive military pressure at there door would blow there cover and expose the real underlying issues with a failed economy about to go bust.

      NATO's build up on the border was to also stop Russia from intervening in there evil plan to subjugate all former pro Russian nations until all there was to control and subjugate was Russia itself.

      With that knowledge in mind it is critical Russia destroy those installations at there first opportunity and the sooner the better.
    • avatar
      If a de-facto force balance of slight edge could be maintained by being stronger that any potential aggressor, there would no need to spend more than could be afforded.

      Let the aggressors continue to spend their money on shining (toy, 'high tech') weapons that give them no advantage.
    • avatar
      Syria Forever
      Dear Mr. President Putin. I believe that is the best moment in recent history to stop the arms race at all. We, as one race, one society, we don't need nuclear power. Not for energy and for sure not to murder millions of people. I am also confident Don Trump will be interested to get rid of those billions of costs as well, because the USofA will need every single coin to get back on their feed. Your connection to China is well. If mother Russia, China and the USofA are aligned in that Europe has to follow. Thank you.
    • avatar
      double bonus
      But isn't Russia the leader in developing new Nuclear Power Plants?
    • avatar
      There is something , strategists always MISS. They THINK is all about arms race. About what I have.
      I always know that defense goes a longer distance. Russia should coldly keep attaining hypersonic systems and NOT just upgrading present systems.
      First ONLY an idiot savant would press for a nuclear war. If Russia can sustain and also contain any attack, it have nothing to worry.
      The plan. Say NATO attack. Russia MUST be prep to contain all attacks of any kind. Because, IF you letting the opponent attack first, any good chess-player, knows that your defense MUST be great.
      Counter offensive. ..You MUST have good weapons to hit the offender hard enough to cause it to hesitate.
      The first hesitating the other WILL send a blow. By then countries begin siding. There is no way to end resistance, Since is time consuming. Propaganda aims at create resistance groups inside the enemy. Destroy business of enemy. Russia's gas station corporation had to sell in Poland, because of propaganda.
      But Russia doesn't kick their coin earners inside Russia.. Mistake. HIT THEIR POCKETS>

      If all goes well. Russia be containing the attack. Reserves be mobilized and war time productions begins. Depending on the doctrines after, Russia could grind the enemy , crunch it right out. or give up thru dumb negotiations. At all this the nuclear arsenal still un used. Fearing massive retaliations.

      Nuclear arsenal is a deterrent , not a frontline weapon.

      Te nuclear arsenal is ever a priority as a result. Unless, there was a treaty and the weapons are expiring , or heavily outdated as a result.

      Russia is ok with this streamlining. And should NOT negotiate, Trump may keep his word. But the next won't. And Russia tends to give advantages, that make always the other party believe is superior.

      Like we all saw, Washington , FAN BOYS, claiming WE NUMBER ONE, propaganda, to make Americans feel chest pumped.
      Same happened in WW2. When U.S entered Europe, it secretly attacked Russia in Europe. The plan was to KICK the soviet union OFF parts of E Europe.
      U.S was MISERABLE KICKED OUT. Time and time again. Then it claimed it was a MISTAKE.

      Because U.S ONLY entered Europe to SEIZE it from Russia. That was the truth.
      I always believed that , this was the real reason JAPAN got nuked. Allies were SCARED TO DEATH of Russia.
      So U.S nuked JAPAN , perhaps to scare Russia out. And have an experiment with live organisms.

      So the defense is much more important than an offense. And nuclear weapons are deterrents. Not first use weapons.

      I'll spend heavily in defense, while at same time keep building offensive weapons. NUKES? Why not hypersonic already? ANd NO NEGOTIATIONS like KIDS.
    • choticastile
      Hartmann said, "The US also violates international treaties by building a missile defense [in Europe],"

      Actually US missile defence systems can be likened to global mushrooms (no pun intended), as apart from Russia, don't they surround China and Iran too? Further, the amount of nuclear tests the US has done over the years, are simply mind boggling.
    • choticastilein reply todouble bonus(Show commentHide comment)
      double bonus, Nuclear power is not nuclear missiles -- I think there are countries whose geographic locations make the harnessing of natural renewable power difficult and hence they're only able to develop and grow with the help of nuclear power generation. At least that's what I understand. Russia is also at the forefront when it comes to nuclear power research, to make nuclear power as safe and earth friendly as possible. However, think the world will over the next few decades slowly begin to move away from nuclear power.
    • avatar
      "They [the Americans] want to start a new arms race. This is what the US defence industry wants. Now, they're doing what they did during Ronald Raegan's presidency. They want a new arms race [against Moscow]. Putin knows that and he refuses to play this game," Henninger told "

      Above statement is fundamentally wrong as it is Putin statement that Russia will not join the arms race. Both statements are for public consumption only and have no substance. Reason being for such statement is very simple and logic. We are all aware that USA did not attack and destroy Russia because they are scared of Russian military might. Believing that a bunch of nuclear warheads will protect you is wrong as ever so do not be misled by the fact that Russia has them in equal number as USA which is enough to wipe out the world clean several times, this ensure that basic form life will reclaim planet after several thousands years of no life what so ever.

      As relations between Russia and USA/NATO sank to the deepest level and become obvious that USA need full NATO support if it wants to attack and possibly defeat Russia it become clear that they have to assure NATO member states that Russia will not be capable to retaliate and send them back to stone age. That is why they started to develop Missile Shield program to ensure superiority not a parity.

      By this fact alone Russia was forced beside S-300 and newest S-400 to develop even better and more sophisticated system S-500 which will keep USA warmongers at bay. Just the fact that Russia cannot keep pace any more due to massive economic downturn and that it does not want to be aggressive country simply because it has no resources to do so except wiping out opponents with nuclear weapons, is placing Putin as well as Henningers statements on lie.

      Russia is forced to permanently develop new systems way better than NATO even dream about as a sheer size of NATO is a treat to relatively small (by population only) Russia. NATO has human base of nearly 1 billion of pretty rich peoples and nations compared to relatively poor Russian people and nation (oligarchs and corrupt politicians excluded). That disparity in size and development is bad for Russia and if we on top of that add sanctions related to Russian economic structure, than it is clear that Putin is simply laying. Russia has to invest all the time in newest and more advanced military systems if it wants prevent NATO aggression.

      Russia now wrongly counts on D. Trump that he will relax burden on Russia, but let us remember few of his statements. In one he prizes Russia in fighting ISIL as he recognises that ISIL if not defeated will cause immense trouble in USA so he needs someone capable to destroy them and so far Russia fits that role superbly. What will happen once ISIL is destroyed and erased from the Middle East, will USA still need Russia? That it has to be seen, but in my opinion no, USA will pursue their own agenda and will not bother to accommodate Russian interests and expectations.

      Next is that he realised that USA Armed forces are useless and is planning to increase military spending but not by increasing budget, but by squeezing neocons and stopping them from excessive theft of USA taxpayer's money. He as businessman realised that Russia with 10x smaller budget is better equipped and better performer than USA military, and he understands that someone down the line is stealing huge amounts of money and he already knows who that thanks to Obama and family Clinton.

      Let us not forget that he clearly indicated that USA will be No.1 in the world and that in its self is clear sign that there will be massive investments in new military technologies as he will get immense amount of money for these investments simply by drastically reducing No. of military bases around the world. Now there are about 800 of them and that is prohibitorily expensive and closure of large number of them will save him enormous amount of money which he will be able to invest in new technologies.

      Further more Trump clearly stated that USA interests will be the first and that means creation of possible conflict hot spots. Do not forget that Trump is not a omnipotent and that soon he will have to search how to accommodate neocons and military complex. Beside that in Congress and Senate there are quite a bit of Republicans who do not like him at all and are very hawkish towards Russia.

      Russia will soon face huge problem as Trump intends to shift massive pressure on China and he will expect Russia to side with them if Russia would want to have peace of mind and peace of cake. Choice will be simple either USA or China, as with Trump there will be always very clear cut. If I would have a say I would side with USA rather than with China who has been so fa extremely unreliable and treacherous partner.

      Friends and partners respect each other and offer help when in need. So far China simply held aside playing an neutral country which is equal as against. China did that because USA eyes were turned towards Russia and China in some kind of shelter from international storms kept quiet and mind own business. There was no China help to Russia in any shape or form. Contrary to that China increased pressure on Russia to sell them very cheaply the latest technology such as engines for 5th gen fighter jets, which was stolen from Russia (MiG-1.41), supersonic cruise missile which is copy of Onyx P-300 (export version), as well as anything else they wanted to have.

      China as scavenger is waiting that Russia enters in financial trouble then it comes and demands something that no one would in normal circumstanced allow to do. China is dishonest and unreliable opportunist and it will stab in back anyone just for own benefit. Now when USA increased pressure on China, we are witnessing Chinese leader as a puppet coming to Moscow and pleading for military support from Russia, and is inviting Russian military to have common exercises on land, sea and air. Now China is willing to do anything to keep military most technologically advanced country on planet close to their chest just in case.

      Watch out now when Trump offers to Russia cooperation how China will start to squeek and be ready to even repay Russia for all stolen technology just to stay with them as they are aware that China might be economic giant but militarily is useless as they so far did not develop anything without copying. Chinese military products are as good and as reliable as Chinese home produced (illegally copied) cars, which are known as total and complete rubbish which not even Chinese wants to buy.

      In my opinion taking in account how pro western Putin is he will chose USA and send China in corner to learn how to behave in normal times not only when water is flooding their mouths.

      So to conclude, Russia despite all odds has to maintain arms race but not in high volume but only in small volumes enough to assure Russian retaliation without suffering any significant damage. However thanks to Putin's inability to run the country against his personal wishes and needs (to protect oligarchs and western leaders) which are in total collision course with national interest Russia will soon face stark choice either to stop military modernisation and feed nation or to collapse country.
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