Russia will not take any unilateral steps on nuclear disarmament, because any moves toward disarmament need to be general and comprehensive, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
All nuclear powers should be involved in the disarmament process, he said.
“We cannot disarm endlessly while some nuclear powers are arming themselves,” Putin said.
Moscow counts on effective cooperation with Washington in restraining the nuclear arms race, he said.
“We won’t allow a [new] arms race,” Putin said.
He also said Russia will not give up its nuclear weapons until it develops conventional weapons with comparable effect.
He admitted that Russia’s foreign partners “are ahead of us in some respects, especially precision-guided weapons.”
Modern conventional warheads feature yields, accuracy and delivery time that “make them comparable in their effects to weapons of mass destruction,” Putin said.
“We will only abandon nuclear weapons when we have such systems, and not a day earlier,” he said.
“No one should have any illusions about that.”