The Universal – “Of course! What do we need the atomic bomb for?” was the response Putin gave to a journalist who had asked whether Russia could imagine herself without nuclear weapons, after a meeting with the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

“As if it were us who had invented or used them! If those who invented and used them are currently willing to give them up… for sure, we would welcome that initiative and contribute to it,” he continued.

Russia and the US are negotiating the future of the START 1 agreements on nuclear weapon reductions that will finish by the end of this year, according to AFP.

Last Wednesday, a high military Russian officer, General Nikolai Solonov, was of the opinion that Russia should keep at least 1,500 nuclear warheads after the current round of disarmament negotiations.