The presidents of Russia and the US discussed a possible arms race involving the two nations, and agreed that such an outcome was not desired by either, the Kremlin has confirmed.
The subject was discussed by Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in a phone call on Tuesday, a Kremlin spokesman told journalists on Wednesday. “There was an agreement between the two leaders during their conversation that an arms race would be undesirable,” Dmitry Peskov said. He added that no potential arms-reduction agreements were discussed by the two leaders.
Earlier, President Trump announced that he will meet President Putin “in the not too distant future to discuss the arms race, which is getting out of control.”
The US and Russia have both announced improvements to their respective defense capabilities. The Trump administration asked lawmakers for additional funding for the American military, part of which would be spent on upgrading its nuclear arsenal. The latest US Nuclear Posture Review proposed developing new nuclear weapon delivery systems, as well as creating a tactical-size nuclear warhead.
Russia has said that it is developing several new strategic weapons, which it called an affordable response to the US pursuit of a global anti-ballistic missile defense system. This includes a replacement for its ageing silo-based ICBMs, a hypersonic glider, a hypersonic air-launched missile, a nuclear-capable cruise missile with “unlimited” range, and an underwater drone carrying a nuclear warhead.
Moscow said it was not seeking to engage in a new arms race with the US, but needed new weapons to dissuade American military planners and politicians from presuming that a nuclear strike against Russia could succeed in preventing a retaliatory strike against America.