Putin: Russia not going to get involved in arms race with U.S., but must ensure its security
MOSCOW. July 4 (Interfax) - Russia is not going to get involved in an arms race with the United States and does not consider itself responsible for ruining the international security system, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
"Just compare the sum Russia spends on defense - about $48 billion - and the US military budget, which is more than $700 billion. Is there any sign of an actual arms race here? We are not willing to get dragged into it. But at the same time we must ensure our security," Putin said in an interview with Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper ahead of his visit to Italy.
"That is why, we had to develop advanced weapons and equipment - in response to the increasing military expenditure and the clearly destructive actions of the United States," he said.
When asked to what extent Russia is responsible for the crisis of Russia-U.S. disarmament arrangements, Putin said, "To no extent! The breakdown of the system of international security began with the U.S. unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. This instrument was the cornerstone of the entire arms control architecture."