MOSCOW, June 14. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed as laughable the attempts to make Moscow responsible for China’s stance on nuclear arms. He expressed this opinion in an interview to the US television network NBC. A transcript of the interview was uploaded to the Kremlin’s website on Monday.
"China won't engage in negotiations on arms control, it refuses to negotiate reductions in nuclear offensive weapons. You should ask the Chinese about it, whether it's good or bad. It's for them to decide. But their arguments are simple and understandable: in terms of the amount of ammunition and warheads and delivery vehicles, the United States and Russia are far, far ahead of China. And the Chinese justly say, ‘Why should we make reductions if we are already far behind what you have? Or do you want us to freeze our level of nuclear deterrence? Why should we freeze? Why we, a country with a 1.5 billion population, cannot at least set the goal of achieving your levels?’ These are all debatable issues that require thorough consideration. But making us responsible for China's position is just comical," Putin said.
He pointed out that Russia did not find fearsome China’s booming defense capabilities, because its own defense sufficiency was at a very high level.
"China has been developing. And I understand that what's beginning is a certain kind of confrontation with China. We can see it. However, we're not alarmed by it, including, among other things, by the fact that our defense sufficiency, which is how we describe it, is at a very high level, including because of this. Why should we worry about the Chinese aircraft carriers? On top of everything else, we have a hugely vast border with China, but it's a land border. It’s a land border. Do you think the Chinese aircraft carriers will cross our land border? This is just a meaningless conversation," Putin said.
He stressed that Russia regarded China as a friendly country that was of no threat to it.
"We do not believe that China is a threat to us. China is a friendly nation. It has not declared us an enemy, as the United States has done," Putin stated.
He recalled that over the past few decades Russia and China built relations of strategic partnership, trust and cooperation in all areas: politics, the economy, technologies and military-technical cooperation.
Also, Putin pointed to China’s booming economy, which in terms of purchase power parity had outperformed the United States. Also, last year China rose to the position of Europe’s largest trading partner.