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Ryabkov: U.S. and Russia Moving To Resume Strategic Dialogue

June 4, 2017 (EIRNS)—Russia Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Sputnik yesterday that the agenda, framework, and timing of the meeting on strategic stability dialogue with the United States will be agreed on soon.

"A fundamental agreement on resumption of Moscow-Washington dialogue on strategic stability was achieved in the course of contacts between [Foreign] Minister [Sergey Lavrov] and the Secretary of State [Rex Tillerson], and then confirmed at the meeting of deputy foreign minister and then-Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon on May 8 in New York,"

Ryabkov told Sputnik. He added that it was high time for Russia and the United States to assess the issue of strategic stability in a comprehensive way and set a road map to reach progress in dialogue.

On June 2, President Trump’s special counter-proliferation assistant, Christopher Ford, said "We would like to resume, but actually put in order the process of dialogue on strategic stability."

Ryabkov said,

"Russia and the United States, as the two major nuclear powers, bear a special responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, strategic stability. And we will be holding this dialogue, based on understanding of our responsibility."

If such a comprehensive strategic stability dialogue were to resume, he said, Moscow then would be ready to discuss ballistic missile defense (BMD).

Ford said that discussions between Russia and the U.S.A. on BMD would be different if threats posed by North Korea and Iran, were brought under control. Ryabkov noted that this position, like that of the Obama Administration, is a misrepresentation, saying that it was really targeting Russia:

"But the dynamics of the development of this system, the technological know-how, tests, scales of financing, discussions that the quantity and quality of their system will develop, all this does not leave any doubt for us that it is intended not for ensuring the security of the United States and their allies namely in terms of countering the mentioned threats. It is projected directly on the Russian, and not only Russian, nuclear deterrent capacity."

Russia, said Ryabkov, is

"ready to discuss these issues and of course will discuss them," when the two nations have agreed upon the parameters of the re-establishment of the strategic stability dialogue. But he noted that a different administration was now in charge.

"If the new administration forms a more reasonable approach, we will welcome this, but we do not see any signs of this yet.... I have a feeling that the United States has [earlier] introduced some kind of restriction on reaching any agreements with Russia in this area over its political motives, which are not related to providing global and regional security. After 2014, when Obama’s Administration deliberately derailed all the existing practices and destroyed the mechanisms used for this dialogue, this [issue] was not discussed at all."