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Russian senator says US inconsistent in its statements on Russian president’s speech

March 02, 19:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The video footage, which accompanied Putin's State of the Nation Address, was seen by the US Department of State as "an animation of nuclear strike on the US", senator says

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MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. Washington is incoherent in its statements on Russia that came in the wake of President Vladimir Putin’s State of the Nation Address, Head of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house) International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev told TASS on Friday.

According to the senator, the United States is trying, on the one hand, to justify an increase in its military spending to fight the threat allegedly emanating from Russia, and, on the other hand, it needs to reassure its citizens.

"The United States’ response to yesterday’s State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly has so far been restrained, to be more precise, contradictory. In particular, the US Department of Defense said they were not surprised to hear reports about new types of weapons being developed in Russia. However, it would be even more inaccurate to present [President] Vladimir Putin’s speech as some kind of challenge to the US or anyone else," Kosachev said. He noted that there is nothing new in the fact that the army is working on modernizing weapons.

"US military officials and propagandists are now addressing a twin challenge with the exactly opposite objectives: on the one hand, to take advantage of the situation, including the Russian president’s address, to scare its population and the Congress and receive as much money as possible for new weapons. However, on the other hand, they need to reassure people too, because it turns out that America has got involved in what it is now a cold conflict with the only power ‘threatening the very existence of America," the parliamentarian added.

Kosachev recalled that the US described the part of Putin’s speech, which focused on strategic armaments with a range far greater than the average one, as a violation of the Treaty on the Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles by Russia.

In his view, the United States is thus trying to show that it was forced to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. "It has long been known that if America decided to violate something, it will push ahead with its efforts to achieve the end result, blaming everyone around and arguing that it was forced to take such a dangerous step," Kosachev stressed.

He noted that Washington also expressed its dissatisfaction with the video footage, which accompanied the Russian president’s State of the Nation Address, seen by State Department representatives as "an animation of nuclear strike on the US."

The senator recalled that US Strategic Command Chief Gen. John Hyten described Russia as the most significant threat since it allegedly threatens the very existence of the country, adding that the underlying message here is "quite trivial." The Pentagon has asked for a major budget increase, releasing its $686 bln budget request for Fiscal 2019.

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