Russia ready for serious conversation with US on entire strategic agenda — Putin
Russia is ready for a serious conversation with Washington to discuss all aspects of the strategic agenda, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Serbia’s Politika newspaper, Trend reported citing TASS.
"Despite the United States’ declared intention to withdraw from the [Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, INF] Treaty, we are open for a dialogue to search for ways to preserve it. We sent a series of practical proposals to the Americans on this issue. We are also ready for a serious conversation on the entire bilateral strategic agenda," he said.
He went on to say that "in fact, the US has de-facto been pursuing the political line aimed at dismantling the system of international agreements in the arms control domain, which pose restrictions on their military buildup, or at selectively complying with those agreements by fulfilling only the provisions that benefit them."
He said Washington’s plans to withdraw from the INF Treaty has become a just another step in a long series of similar decisions and "the consequences of this policy are going to be extremely negative."
"Naturally, we are not going to turn a blind eye to the deployment of US missiles that pose a direct threat to our security. We will be forced to take effective reciprocal measures. However, being a responsible and rational country, Russia is not interested in a new arms race," Putin added.
US President Donald Trump said on October 20, 2018, that Washington would withdraw from the INF Treaty because Russia was violating the terms of the agreement.
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said after a NATO ministerial meeting on December 4 that his country would stop fulfilling its liabilities under the INF Treaty unless Russia returned to "full and verifiable" compliance with it within 60 days. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on the following day that the US side had provided no evidence to prove Russia’s alleged violations of the treaty. He stressed that Russia is against dismantling this treaty but will have to react correspondingly if the United States withdraws from it.