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Expert warns US may quit arms reduction treaties, resume nuclear tests under Trump

In the expert’s opinion, in today’s situation "a real threat of a sharp escalation of the arms race exists"

MOSCOW, February 28. /TASS/. The United States may withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the START arms reduction deal and resume nuclear tests under President Donald Trump, Scientific Head of the Institute of US and Canadian Studies Sergei Rogov said on Tuesday.

"When Trump begins to say that the START-III Treaty is a one-sided deal and is disadvantageous for the US, a scenario is quite possible when Trump may withdraw from the INF and START Treaties and the United States may resume nuclear tests," Rogov said at a roundtable discussion in the lower house of Russia’s parliament on Russian-US relations.

In the expert’s opinion, in today’s situation "a real threat of a sharp escalation of the arms race exists."

According to the expert, the United States has already announced its plans to boost military spending by $54 billion for 2018 while a bill submitted to the US Congress proposes immediately deploying offensive and defensive armaments, and also sharply curtailing the financing of the START-III Treaty implementation in response to Russia’s alleged breach of the INF treaty.

"What does all this mean? This is a repetition of the crisis that occurred in the early 1980s but this time a flight of US missiles would be shorter and they would fly from Germany, Estonia and Poland. The situation is far more dangerous," the expert said.

US President Donald Trump earlier criticized the new START Treaty of 2010 (the Russian-US Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms), promising "to start making good deals" and expand the US nuclear arsenal.

"It’s a one-sided deal like all other deals we make. It gave them [Russia] things that we should have never allowed," the US leader said in the Reuters interview.

The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-III) was signed by the presidents of Russia and the United States on April 8, 2010 in Prague and entered into force on February 5, 2011 after it was ratified by Russia’s parliament and the US Congress.

The Treaty stipulates cutting deployed strategic carriers to 700 units and to 1,550 nuclear warheads on each side.