WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States is open to working with Russia on a variety of security issues affecting global stability such as nuclear-arms reduction, a Department of State official told RIA Novosti.
"The United States has repeatedly said that we are prepared to engage Russia on the full range of issues affecting strategic stability, and that there are real and meaningful steps we should be taking that can contribute to a more predictable, safer security environment," the official said Monday.
Earlier in the day, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's North America Department, Georgiy Borisenko, stated that Moscow is ready to coordinate the preparation of new agreements on nuclear weapons, on the condition that Russia's national interests are respected.
The official added that outgoing US President Barack Obama has repeatedly called on Russia to return to compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
The 1987 treaty prohibits development, deployment or testing of ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles with ranges between 300 and 3,400 miles. The treaty was implemented in 1991, with inspections continuing until 2001.
In May the United States activated, in Romania, its Aegis ashore ballistic-missile defense system, equipped with an MK-41 vertical launching system. Russia’s Foreign Ministry called the deployment in Europe "a relatively new and rather serious violation of the INF Treaty,” as Moscow says the MK-41 could launch long-range US Tomahawk cruise missiles – a capability banned by the INF Treaty.