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Kremlin blasts US attempts to portray Russia as a threat

Earlier, Donald Trump signed a $716 bln defense spending bill

MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. The Kremlin sees as groundless the United States’ attempts to portray Russia as a country posing a threat to the world, because the defense budgets of the two countries are incomparable, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in the wake of reports about an increase in US defense spending.

"Before the latest increase the US defense budget was many times greater than the military budget of our country, which is a clear sign it is at least groundless to portray Russia inside the United States as a threat to anyone, be it European countries or countries in the North American continent. The figures speak for themselves," Peskov said.

Asked if the missile system Sarmat and other new Russian weapon systems fell under the terms of the New START treaty, Peskov said that Putin had explained that "all new weapon systems fully match the spirit and letter of the corresponding international documents."

"Russia has never abused its obligations under international law and remained committed to them. President Putin said this quite clearly," Peskov said.

US President Donald Trump has signed a $716-billion defense budget for the 2019 fiscal year (beginning on October 1). The signing ceremony took place at Fort Drum, New York, the base of the 10th mountain division.

The new budget envisages an increase in military personnel by approximately 16,000 and a 2.6% rise in their cash allowance, as well as further military assistance to Ukraine and a number of measures of resistance to Russia in the military sphere.