The latest US nuclear program may result in the renewal of the arms race, while better relations between Russia and the United States should necessarily presume scaling back nuclear arsenals, CEO of Russian state corporation Rostec Sergey Chemezov told the Washington Post newspaper.
"The closer relations are between Russia and America, the more arms should be reduced — first and foremost nuclear arms. And what do we see now? The United States is adopting a new program… It will lead to another arms race, because we will have to do the same as the Americans," Chemezov said in an interview published on Saturday.
The head of Rostec warned that the tensions would go higher until "a mere spark" was enough.
Chemezov said that New START, a nuclear arms reductions treaty signed by Moscow and Washington in 2010, would work if the relations between the two countries were at a "more trustworthy level."
"Until such trustworthy relations are established, how can we talk about further negotiations about arms reductions when we don't trust each other?" Rostec head said.
In early February, Pentagon released a new nuclear weapons strategy, focusing on the advanced capabilities of several other countries, including Russia. Pentagon named China, Iran and North Korea as other potential threats.
Under the new strategy, the United States plans to concentrate on developing small nuclear weapons and continue investing in modernization of its nuclear forces.
The CEO of Rostec also noted that Donald Trump has been talking about improving the relationship with Russia, but he has not done anything, and the Russian-US relations have gone even worse.
"Yes, that’s what he [Trump] says. But he doesn’t do anything. And in reality, it’s on the contrary: Look, there are new lists. What is this? Does it improve relations? I doubt it," Chemezov said, as quoted in an interview published on Saturday.
The CEO of Rostec was referring to the so-called Kremlin report, released by the US Department of Treasury in late January and including almost the entire Russian leadership and many businesspeople. The inclusion in the list does not necessarily mean that the person will be targeted by the sanctions, but signifies such a possibility in the future.
Chemezov added that Trump had said during his presidential campaign he would review the US relationship with Russia and ease the tensions.
"Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened yet, because he himself has gotten caught under various kinds of scrutiny. It’s probably not easy for him, either. Let’s see, maybe he will gain the strength to create some opportunities that will allow him to change something regarding Russia," the head of Rostec said.