Russia rejects Obama's nuke cut proposal
Updated: 2013-06-20 09:21
US Navy guided-missile frigate USS Vandegrift (background) and a Russian diesel submarine take part in a naval parade at the harbour of Russia's far eastern city of Vladivostok in this July 25, 2010 file photo. Russia marks Navy Day on Sunday. US President Barack Obama said on June 19, 2013, he will pursue a new reduction in deployed nuclear weapons by up to a third below the level achieved in the "New START" treaty with Russia, a senior administration official said. Picture taken July 25, 2010.[Photo/Agencies]
MOSCOW - Moscow said Wednesday it cannot welcome US President Barack Obama's proposal of cutting Russian and US strategic nuclear arsenals up to a third.
"This means (Obama) either doesn't understand the essence (of the problem), or he openly lies, or he is deeply unprofessional," Deputy Prime Minster Dmitry Rogozin told reporters.
In a wide-ranging speech in Berlin, Obama called for a one- third reduction of US and Russian deployed nuclear weapons, saying it is possible to ensure American security and a strong deterrent while also limiting nuclear weapons.
Under the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which Obama signed with Russia in 2010, Washington and Moscow are committed to cutting their existing warhead ceilings by 30 percent over the next 10 years from the current 2,200 to 1,550. A further one-third cut in the arsenals would take them to the 1,000 weapons mark.
Rogozin said the two countries would not talk about nuclear disarmament until Moscow and Washington find a common language over the US anti-missile defense deployment.
"In history development of a shield never happened without development of sword," he said, adding that Russia does not trust US intentions to limit anti-missile system deployment by only four stages.
He called on Moscow not to repeat "reckless" disarmament conducted by the Soviet leadership at the turn of 1980s and 1990s when the "foul" treaties were signed between Moscow and Washington.
Earlier Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin said Russia must take into account the possibility of a preemptive nuclear strike against its interests and include it in its defense strategy.