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MP says NATO’s increased defense spending not to drag Russia into arms race

A lawmaker sees no reason for Russia to follow NATO's increased spendings

MOSCOW, July 8. /TASS/. NATO’s decision to increase defense spending will not prompt Russia to do the same, a Russian lawmaker told TASS on Friday commenting on the statement of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after the first day of the NATO summit in Warsaw.

"I don’t think we will get involved in it," Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov, the chairman of the defense committee of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, said when asked whether NATO’s increased defense spending could entail a new spiral of arms race.

"So far, everything is as stable as planned. I don’t see any reason," he added.

He said that NATO is demanding too much of its member countries as not all of them "are capable of allocating two percent of their GDP." He reminded that 70% of financing comes to NATO from the United States, and the rest - from other member countries. "The task is two percent of GDP. I think few can pay this toll," he said.

Earlier on Friday, Stoltenberg said NATO leaders are required to reiterate their readiness to increase defense spending to two percent of GDP.

Eastern European countries become hostages to NATO

The lawmaker went on to say that NATO’s missile defense system will make Eastern European countries hostages to the U.S. policy as they will be a target for Russian missiles in case Russia will be forced to respond.

"If it is so and it [NATO’s missile defense system] is put into service, our short-range missile will be tasked to break through this anti-missile barrier. It means a response strike," Vladimir Komoyedov, the chairman of the defense committee of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, said.

"Missiles will be assigned a mission task to deliver a strike against this barrier, which is located in Europe, in Romania and Poland. It means that these countries are hostages to the U.S. policy," he said, adding that Russia will never be the first to deliver a strike.

"Once it (NATO’s missile defense system) has made fully operational, part of the force has come on combat duty and is ready to be used for intended purposes, i.e. to hit our missiles," Komoyedov said. This system "is targeted only against the Russian nuclear missile potential. Neither against Iran nor against Iraq - it’s all bluff, trickery, deception."

Explaining the term ‘mission task,’ the Russian lawmaker said it means ‘to be on the alert’ and when ‘they receive a go command’ they will be launched to break through this missile defense system, i.e. they will deliver a strike on the first layer - tracker stations and missile launchers - to neutralize it."

"Naturally, I am speaking hypothetically. It will be done in response to actions against Russia," he stressed. "Our doctrine is defensive. We will never be the first to use our nuclear missile forces. We can do it only as a response measure.".