RUSSIAN politicians are worried President Donald Trump may be about to start a new nuclear arms race.
The President told media on Thursday that he believed the US had fallen behind in its nuclear weapons capacity and claimed a treaty limiting nuclear arsenals was a “bad deal” for Washington DC.
Although Trump said he would like a world with no nuclear weapons he also claimed America had “fallen behind on nuclear weapon capacity.”
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“I am the first one that would like to see... nobody have nukes, but we’re never going to fall behind any country even if it’s a friendly country, we’re never going to fall behind on nuclear power,” said Trump.
“It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes. But if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack.”
Estimates suggest Russia has 7000 warheads and the United States has 6800.
New START, a strategic arms limitation treaty, between Washington DC and Moscow requires that by February 5, 2018, both countries must limit their arsenals of strategic nuclear weapons to equal levels for 10 years.
Both countries are allowed to have no more than 800 deployed and non-deployed land-based intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missile launchers and heavy bombers equipped to carry nuclear weapons.
This was, Trump said, a “one-sided deal.”
“Just another bad deal that the country made, whether it’s START, whether it’s the Iran deal... we’re going to start making good deals,” he said.
Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the international affairs committee in the upper house of the Russian parliament, was wary: “Trump’s campaign slogan ‘Make America great again’ – if that means nuclear supremacy – will return the world to the worst times of the arms race in the 50s and 60s.”
Another pro-Kremlin Russian politician, Alexei Pushkov, wrote on Twitter that Trump’s comments on increasing US nuclear capacity “put in doubt the agreement on limiting strategic arms, returning the world to the 20th century”.