MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. The US seeks to draw Russia into a new arms race using NATO as a tool, Deputy Director of the Russian Institute of the CIS Countries Vladimir Yevseyev said on Friday, addressing a roundtable dedicated to current relations between Russia and NATO.
"NATO member states’ claims about being weak and not having enough weapons are just a pretext for building up their military strength," he said. "Being the Alliance’s backbone, the United States seeks to trigger an arms race and draw Russia into it." "Russia, in turn, responds to these attempts by taking asymmetrical measures because if we respond directly, we would be drawn into the race," he added.
According to the Russian expert, military build-up is part of Washington’s policy aimed at fueling its standoff with Moscow. "The policy of standoff goes on, particularly leading to the Pentagon receiving funds for its program aimed at restraining Russia, as well as to changes in the nuclear doctrine, which now allows the use of nuclear weapons for unclear reasons," Yevseyev said.
He also pointed out that the US had also been trying to provoke Russia to take retaliatory steps. "The United States has been pushing NATO towards the establishment of military facilities near Russia’s borders to make Russia take retaliatory steps," he noted. "It is being done to have a chance to later accuse Russia of carrying out aggression," he added. The expert pointed out that that particular trend in relations between Russia and NATO would remain at least until the mid-2020s, regardless of who became the next US president.