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Russia Will Not Respond to Trump’s Military Buildup with One of Its Own

March 6, 2017 (EIRNS)—Military commentator of Russia Behind the Headlines Nikolai Litovkin, argued, in a March 2 column, that Russia will not respond in kind to President Trump’s plan to increase the U.S. defense budget by $54 billion.

"Russia, which will soon implement a new arms program for 2018-2025, doesn’t plan increases in military expenditures and will even reduce its military budget,"

Litovkin writes. "The country will spend three percent of its GDP, not four percent, as originally planned." The view in Moscow, according to Litovkin and analysts that he consulted, is that an increase, even a substantial increase, in the U.S. military budget isn’t a threat to Russia, unless, of course, it results in a buildup of U.S./NATO forces on Russia’s borders.

"Today, Russia cannot afford to be dragged into a new arms race and should not react to the increase of America’s military budget," said Alexei Arbatov, director of the Center of International Security at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations.

"The money that we allot to defense is still sufficient, but we do not plan on deploying new bases on our borders and we are meeting our military needs by more than is necessary."

Russia’s policy can only be changed by an impending war, and, "Thank God we’re still far from such a possibility," concluded Arbatov.