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UN, May 17. /TASS/. The actions of the U.S. under certain conditions may push Russia to building up its nuclear arsenals, head of the Foreign Ministry's department on arms control, Mikhail Ulyanov said on Friday, on the sidelines of the conference at the United Nations on the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The basis of the suggestion the U.S. has voiced about cutting one-third of the warheads is the understanding the U.S. will be able to protect itself and allies even after the cutting.
"We cannot make a conclusion of the kind, and thus for us the U.S. initiative means contrary factors, where under certain conditions they may push us to building up [nuclear arsenals]," the diplomat said. "As yet, those are not our plans, but what the Americans are doing realistically makes it very complicated or even leaving no chances to make further steps in nuclear disarmament."
This is what happens in reality, he continued, and "this is what we are trying to explain here."
"Nuclear disarmament is made not in vacuum," and it is affected by many factors.
"Growing international negative tendencies undermine strategic stability, and thus the future of nuclear disarmament," he said. Those "negative factors" come not from Russia. "They come from the United States of America: the anti-missile defence, refusal from the talks on banning weapons in the space, the de factor refusal from ratification of the agreement on banning nuclear tests, and, finally, the major misbalance in regular arms in Europe."
Anyway, he continued, presently "the process of cutting continues and will be over by February 5, 2018 - seven years after a new START comes into force."
"This means, the process continues, and this is our major task," the diplomat said. "These obligations under the treaty will be fulfilled."
He said that during a previous conference at the UN, Russia reported its 3.9 thousand deployed nuclear warheads.
"Five years later, the number we have is 1,582," he said. "This is a cutting by about two and a half times."
Russia is "quite satisfied" with NPT.
"We do not see factors, which could make our participation in the treaty contradicting with interests of the Russian Federation, but theoretically, because of actions by the U.S., this situation is probable, though we are not interested in it," the diplomat said. This is why, during the conference, Russia "suggests speaking first of all about eliminating factors in the way towards nuclear disarmament and about conditions for making new agreements possible.".