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Arms race underway after US withdrawal from Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, says Putin

The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was terminated on June 13, 2002, following the unilateral US withdrawal

MOSCOW, October 13. /TASS/. The weapon race between Russia and the US is on the move after Washington's withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday at a plenary session of the Russian Energy Week.

"The arms race is on the march, unfortunately. And it has started after the US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty," the Russian president noted.

Putin recalled that back in 2003 he urged the US not to withdraw from the ABM Treaty. "This is a fundamental thing, the cornerstone of global security. What is the ABM Treaty? This is not just protection, it is an attempt to gain strategic advantages by de-energizing the nuclear potential of a probable opponent, that is, ours," the Russian leader pointed out.

"What should we do in response? Either create the same system, which costs a lot of money and may be not so efficient, or establish another system that will certainly outperform the ABM Treaty," the head of the state went on to say. "And I said that we would do it. The American partners replied that their missile defense system was not against [Russia], so we could do what we want, and [the US] would proceed from the assumption that this was not against it. And we did it, so what is the problem? And now [the US] does not like it," the president noted.

"We are ready to consider the existing circumstances and hold a constructive dialogue in this direction," Putin concluded.

The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty between the USSR and the US was signed in Moscow on May 26, 1972. However, it was terminated on June 13, 2002, following the unilateral US withdrawal.