Global decisions like the US pulling out of a treaty banning strategic anti-ballistic missile defenses are pushing the world towards a new Cold War, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. Military conflicts have a far lesser impact, he added.
“Not military conflicts but global decisions like the US unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty lead to a Cold War,” Putin said. “This more in fact pushes us to a new round of the arms race, because it changes the global security system.”
Putin made his comments at a key plenary session at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
The 1972 ABM treaty between the US and Soviet Union ensured that neither side tried to neutralize its foe’s nuclear deterrence by building an anti-missile shield. The US unilaterally withdrew from it in 2002, as the Bush administration claimed it needed protection from “rogue states” such as North Korea and Iran. Moscow believes that the US is actually building a global anti-missile system to undermine the defenses of Russia and China.