Russia says ‘no’ to arms race, ‘yes’ to security amid US military spending plans

MOSCOW-- Moscow will not participate in an arms race but will take sufficient steps to protect itself, Russia's upper house speaker said amid Donald Trump's plans to step up military spending.

Russia will not be drawn into an arms race but will take sufficient measures to strengthen its national security, Valentina Matvienko, the speaker of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia's parliament, said Wednesday in a comment on the US administration's plans to increase defense spending.

"Russia will not be drawn into an arms race, we will analyze [the situation] and take measures sufficient to ensure national security," Matvienko said.

She added that "states' efforts should be aimed at disarmament."

Matvienko stressed that the military-industrial lobby and NATO were making efforts to build up military spending. She expressed hope that there was an understanding in the world that the arms race was dangerous.

On Monday, the Office of Management and Budget announced that Donald Trump's budget proposal would boost military and security spending by billion with a corresponding reduction in all other discretionary spending.

Donald Trump has repeatedly advocated establishing a political dialogue with Moscow, particularly in regards to the fight against terrorism, and expressed readiness to build positive relations with Russia. Moscow has long been promoting the idea of fruitful cooperation with Washington.

After the leaders' phone talks on January 28, the Kremlin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the presidents had noted the importance of respect in relations.

At the same time the US leader has also voiced several statements such as the ones about the necessity to strengthen Washington's nuclear capabilities, that have raised concerns of Russian officials.

Source: Philippines News Agency