MOSCOW – Mutually assured destruction, or MAD – a pillar of global stability – would disappear if Russia, China and the United States agreed to get rid of nuclear weapons, according to Russian Congressman Leonid Slutsky.
“The balance of powers between Moscow and Washington is based on so-called guaranteed mutual destruction,” the lawmaker told Russian TV, commenting on an interview with US President Donald Trump in which he urged other countries to reduce their nuclear arsenals.
“If this is not the case, there will be the risk of a real war,” said Slutsky.
In the interview, the US president called on the United States, Russia and China to abandon their nuclear weapons.
His comments came amid reports that the White House is preparing an ambitious arms control treaty with Russia and China.
However, Slutsky, head of the Lower House Committee on International Affairs, was skeptical of US nuclear disarmament, pointing out that the US has increased its military budget by $716 billion this year.
In February, the US also withdrew unilaterally from the 1987 INF Treaty, which bans land-based missiles ranging from 500km to 5,500km, he added.
“So, Donald Trump’s statement could only be interpreted as a publicity move, typical for this president. He often makes contradictory statements one after the other,” Slutsky concluded.
Earlier, President Trump and several senior officials, including US national security adviser John Bolton, suggested negotiations for a new nuclear treaty, including China and Russia, but no particular suggestion was made.
“I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race. The US spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!” he wrote on Twitter last year.
I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race. The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2018
In contrast, the Trump administration has a very strong track record of withdrawing international agreements. Since joining the Oval Office in 2016, Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement between 12 Pacific countries and NAFTA, a group formed by the US, Canada and Mexico.
In 2018, the US announced its withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran, causing turmoil and international criticism.