MOSCOW, May 2 (TASS) - Russia will rely on itself in terms of developing new weapons following the United States’ move to suspend dialogue on strategic stability, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Italy’s Mediaset broadcaster.

He pointed out that Russia had made no secret of its efforts to develop new weapons. "We were even prepared for a conversation with the US that would make sure a treaty on strategic stability that would replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty included discussions of new systems that had been developed and those that would be developed. The Americans suspended all these negotiations. We will rely on ourselves," Lavrov noted.

According to him, Russian President Vladimir Putin clarified that Moscow had started to work on new weapons after the US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. "When asked why they [the Americans] were destroying this important treaty that was significantly contributing to ensuring global stability, then [US] President George W. Bush told Russian President Vladimir Putin that they were leaving the treaty because they would build a missile defense system not aimed against Russia. He claimed that they were concerned about North Korea and Iran," Lavrov stressed.

"We had to start developing hypersonic weapons because we knew perfectly well that the United States’ missile defense system would not be aimed against North Korea and Iran but against Russia and later, China," the Russian top diplomat noted. "Otherwise, a country that has missile defenses and offensive weapons may be tempted to strike first in the hope that missile defenses will be able to repulse a retaliatory strike," Lavrov said.