Moscow is open to diplomacy with Washington, but the outlook is unclear, the deputy foreign minister has said
The prospects of resuming US-Russian strategic dialogue are uncertain given the aggressive policies promoted by Washington, a senior Russian diplomat said on Monday in an interview with local media.
Speaking to the newspaper Izvestia, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov stated that “speculating on the prospects of strategic dialogue with the US, especially when the Americans had shut it off, is an unrewarding task.”
“Frankly, the very potential to resume it is far from certain, given the recklessly aggressive policies that Washington is pursuing towards Russia,” Ryabkov said, adding that Moscow is paying attention to Washington’s signals regarding the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), which puts caps on both countries’ nuclear arsenals.
Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden said Washington is ready to negotiate “a new arms control framework” to potentially replace the landmark arms controls agreement. However, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the US has not come up with any proposals yet.
“Of course, we are monitoring some signals regarding reopening talks on the New START treaty, but it is still unclear what is behind them. And in general, negotiations are not conducted through the media,” Ryabkov said.
The deputy foreign minister stressed that Russia’s foreign policy objectives remain unchanged. Its vision, he said, involves “creating a new security equation that would take into account all the factors affecting strategic stability.” To achieve this, Moscow does its best to negotiate on the “entire spectrum of offensive and defensive, nuclear and conventional arms with strategic potential,” he added.
Ryabkov went on to say that Moscow has been open to pragmatic interactions with Washington “aimed at reducing tensions and risks, preventing dangerous escalation and an arms race, as well as strengthening strategic stability, including through arms control efforts.”
He cautioned, however, that the jury is still out regarding whether the US will “change its deliberately destructive policies and be ready to conduct a dialogue on [an] equal footing,” while taking Moscow’s security concerns into account.
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