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Russian-US dialogue on strategic stability develops in right direction — envoy

The dialogue on strategic stability is developing in a right direction, it is professional and substantial, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said, speaking at the International Advisory Council of James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies – CNS of Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (California) Monday.

“On September 30, Geneva hosted the second round of consultations between the interagency delegations led by deputy foreign ministers. The conversation is developing in the right direction and of a professional and substantive nature,” the Russian Embassy’s Facebook page quoted him as saying. “An important result already achieved thus far is the definition of the goal of the strategic dialogue. The two Sides have agreed that it should focus on identifying the parameters of an arms control regime to be built upon the New START Treaty,” the Russian ambassador noted.

According to the diplomat, the delegations managed to resolve organizational issues, among others. “Two working groups have been established to discuss common approaches to prospective arms control instruments, frameworks and goals for the future regime,” he said. “The Sides have also agreed to deal with specific types and classes of weapons, technologies and activities that have an impact on strategic stability,” the envoy added.

The Russian ambassador noted that in this context “the Sides intend to discuss not only specific types and classes of nuclear and non-nuclear weapons capable of performing strategic missions, but also the actions of the Sides that have a ‘strategic effect’.” “It is our understanding that such an approach provides an opportunity for the two delegations to reach a set of agreements and understandings that may have different statuses and include measures in both arms control and risk reduction,” he explained.

The diplomat stressed that from the point of view of the Russian side, there should be no “preconditions” for discussing particular topics in any of the working groups or at plenary meetings in general. “The Russian Side is ready to discuss any national security or strategic stability issues,” he emphasized, expressing hope that the American colleagues would not ignore Russia’s priorities and concerns.

“The two great nuclear powers – Russia and the United States – should treat their bilateral relations carefully. Global strategic stability depends largely on our countries. For a reason, the backlog of problems and irritants accumulated in Russia-US affairs over the recent years is a matter of concern not only for Moscow and Washington, but also for capitals of other states,” the Russian envoy said.

The diplomat also stressed that it was important not to politicize the discussion which is currently of a professional nature. “We understand that over the years of absence of the strategic stability dialogue our countries have accumulated a backlog of questions. However, it is important to focus on the main issues and not to politicize the professional conversation on strategic stability that is gaining momentum. Of course, if the US Side presents its arguments in favor of expanding the dialogue on strategic stability, we will be open to them and will seek to figure out and determine where, when and in what format such ideas can be discussed,” he noted.

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