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Moscow Sees Little Chance of Resuming Strategic Stability Talks with U.S.

July 22, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Comments from top Russian officials over the past day indicate that Moscow sees little possibility of the early resumption of strategic stability talks with the U.S. Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov, in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV yesterday, said that a conversation on strategic security between Russia and the United States will ultimately be resumed but it won’t happen soon. “If you ask me whether it is possible to resume such a dialogue tomorrow, I will tell you ‘no,’ ” he said, reported TASS. “But such a dialogue will take place sooner or later.”

No conversation on strategic stability is possible until the Americans “change their anti-Russian policy,” he continued.

“They keep on hinting and conveying these thoughts to the embassy: We are ready to cooperate but only on problems of the New START Treaty. ... They want only one thing—to peek inside our launching systems to see how many nuclear warheads we have. They don’t want to speak about anything else.”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, after attending the annual meeting of friends of the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund on July 21, said that Russia is not ready to engage in arms control talks in the manner offered by the United States, reported TASS. “No, we have not received a written proposal in the form you may mean, a non-paper or a note or a personal letter. However, we have certainly studied the U.S. national security adviser’s statement on this issue. And we have also made our corresponding comments,” Ryabkov pointed out in response to a question. “I would like to say that we are not ready to and will not conduct this dialogue based on what the Americans are now proposing, as they ignore several key points in this entire configuration,” Ryabkov said.

Ryabkov was not clear as to what statement by Jake Sullivan that he was referring to. Sullivan did speak at the Aspen Security Forum yesterday. According to the Washington Times, Sullivan claimed that the U.S. is not seeking regime change in Moscow but that the Wagner rebellion did put Putin “on the defensive.”

Sullivan did speak to strategic stability with respect to China, where he claimed, as summarized by the Times, that China’s buildup of nuclear missiles and other strategic weapons requires that Beijing begin nuclear talks with the United States. He said President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on a recent phone call to hold strategic stability talks on nuclear weapons, something he said is vital based on China’s rapidly expanding nuclear arsenal.

“If you look right now at what China is doing with respect to the buildup of its nuclear capabilities, as well as a series of quite exotic forms of weaponry that have themselves nuclear capabilities, the need for basic risk reduction, for an understanding of one another’s doctrines, intentions, modes of operation is acute,”

Sullivan said. He said he warned his Chinese counterparts over the last two years that Russian nuclear saber-rattling over Ukraine has been reduced by communications. “We do not have that with China, and that is inherently destabilizing,” he said. “That is something that we need to generate, through intensive dialogue between the U.S. and China.”

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