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MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. US President-elect Donald Trump may have made an impromptu statement when he mentioned nuclear disarmament, Head of the Center for International Security at the Institute of the World Economy and International Relations of Russia’s Academy of Sciences Alexey Arbatov said at a roundtable dubbed "Donald Trump’s Inauguration: Russian-US Relations Agenda."
On Sunday, the Times and Germany's Bild published an interview with Trump in which he mentioned the possibility of lifting sanctions on Russia as well as nuclear disarmament dialogue with Russia. Some media outlets came to the conclusion that Trump was ready to ease sanctions in return for a nuclear deal.
According to Arbatov, Trump’s statement on disarmament "was an impromptu" one. "By the way, the new US administration does not know much about disarmament. The same goes for Trump’s statements on sanctions. This was a flight of fantasy that has no boundaries," the expert added. "The future of the disarmament actually depends on Russia because no one in the incoming US administration is an expert in this sphere, moreover, they have never dealt with it," Arbatov added. "Russia can seize the initiative in the disarmament issues."
"This is one of the most important fields as far as our security is concerned," he stressed. "If Russia wishes, it can have a chance to put forward a package of realistic proposals on all issues which have remained ‘a bone of contention’ in Russian-US relations. In this case, Moscow will be able to influence the future dialogue’s agenda rather than only respond to the US proposals, which is important."
"It depends on Russia’s position to a great extent, whether it will become easier for us to deal with the US. Trump will undoubtedly take steps aimed at revamping the US’ nuclear forces. Besides, the US President-elect is ready to reduce the number of nuclear weapons but he will insist on extending the missile defense system program," the Russian expert said adding that Russia would have to show flexibility, otherwise "talks will come to a deadlock and the US will adopt offensive and defensive arms programs."