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Putin blames US for 'spiral of arms race'

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has blamed the United States for the current round of arms race in the world.

"This new spiral of the arms race was prompted by the United States’ unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty,” Putin said in an interview with Swiss broadcaster RTS on Monday.

On December 13, 2001, Washington withdrew from the treaty, which had been signed in 1972 between the US and the Soviet Union, on the limitation of the anti-ballistic missile systems used in defending areas against ballistic missile-delivered nuclear weapons.

“This treaty was a cornerstone of the entire system of international security," he said.

According to a report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a leading think-tank focusing on international security, Washington in 2014 spent USD 581 billion, the highest amount of military expenditure last year.

China, Saudi Arabia and Russia are the countries coming after the US with USD 129, 81 and 70 billion in military expenditure respectively, the British institute's report said.

Putin also said that US official should rethink their policies and stop “acting in a way ‘who-in-not-with-us-is-against-us.’”

"Undoubtedly, the United States is a great power. But it doesn’t mean that the current US authorities have any right to move around the world, seizing people and taking them to their prisons,” he added.

Elsewhere in the interview, the Russian president said that Moscow is ready to negotiate with the US and Europe on a host of issues including the situation in Ukraine.

“Russia takes no interest in seeking confrontation with other countries. But sometimes we simply have to defend our interests. And we will undoubtedly do it, but not in a confrontational manner but thorough finding compromises and mutually acceptable solutions,” he said.

The US and its European allies have imposed economic sanctions on Russia, accusing Moscow of being involved in the Ukrainian conflict that broke out last year. Russia has repeatedly denied the accusation and has imposed retaliatory sanctions against many Western countries.


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