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Former Russian ambassador comments on US defense budget for 2019

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

MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. Several provisions of the Pentagon budget law for the fiscal year 2019 do not promote the regime of arms control, the US is moving towards unilateral pressure, First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Council Committee for Foreign Affairs Sergei Kislyak told TASS on Tuesday.

"Some provisions of the law, of course, do not promote strengthening of these regimes," he said. Particularly, the senator noted that for a long time the US has been resisting "the very idea" of adhering to the Treaty on Open Skies.

According to him, the US has a "rather skeptical, if not downright cynical" position on arms control as a security mechanism. "It seems like the Americans are moving towards unilateral pressure," he concluded.

On August 13, US President Donald Trump 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 law instructs the Department of Defense to consider the possibility of deploying more missile defense components in Europe in response to alleged violations of the INF treaty by Russia.