Speaking in an interview with Izvestiya multimedia information center, Lavrov said that after the US withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the future of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) is unclear and needs to be discussed in the context of strategic security.
However, Washington’s position on this issue is “uncertain” though Russia repeatedly suggested to start dialogue on extending the treaty for five years as envisaged by the document, he added.
“They say that the extension of this treaty is unlikely, then they state that it is impossible to do it considering new types of weapons, especially hypersonic weapons that Russian President Vladimir Putin talked about in his last year’s address to the Federal Assembly. However, those who are familiar with the text of this treaty know that it does not include those types of weapons. If the US is interested in discussing aspects of strategic stability and arms control that supersede the treaty, they should have long ago responded to invitations that we sent out to resume dialogue on all aspects of strategic stability — offensive and defensive — on a regular basis,” Lavrov said.
“This is a very important balance that was reflected in the New START and that was seriously undermined when the US withdrew from the treaty on missile defense. In other words, we can discuss many things v that’s what makes it a dialogue on strategic stability, that we can raise any issues that present a threat to strategic stability itself, for which the US and Russia bear main responsibility in the world.”
Moscow has repeatedly offered Washington to improve bilateral relations in the spheres of strategic stability and economy, Lavrov said, Tass reported.
“Of course, our relations with the US are undermined. Unfortunately, this process continues. We are not begging to be friends. However, our proposals on how to improve bilateral relations have been repeatedly extended to our American colleagues, including during the meetings between the presidents and at my meetings with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, as well as with US National Security Advisor John Bolton,” Lavrov said. “Those proposals concern spheres of strategic stability, as well as economic, trade and investment cooperation, and cooperation between political analysts and civil society experts on issues that are important for bilateral relations between Moscow and Washington.”
Russia and the US have “many common interests in the world, as well as many common responsibilities,” Lavrov said, stressing that developing relations in trade, economy, culture and humanitarian sphere would benefit both countries.
“Unfortunately, despite intentions to normalize relations with Russia that have been confirmed many times by US President Donald Trump and other key officials, nothing positive is happening at the practical level. The ‘downward’ trend continues,” the foreign minister said. “Our American colleagues continue to impose unilateral sanctions, without even trying to justify this. It contradicts the attitude that the US president projects,” he added.