"Regarding the US-South Korean drills, we can say without any doubt that such large-scale military activity does not contribute at all to the creation of favorable atmosphere for the holding of normal talks," Ulyanov said.
The exercises are likely to end before the high-level meeting between South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, scheduled for late April.
“Apparently, the dialogue between two Koreas will continue, possibly, there will be contacts between the leaders of North Korea and the United States. It seems to me that the most important thing in the subsequent negotiations is to offer Pyongyang truly convincing security guarantees,” Ulyanov said.
Often viewed as a provocation by North Korea, the joint drills are to take place amid an easing of tensions between North and South Korea and before the highly anticipated inter-Korean summit, where the parties may discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Russia and China have repeatedly called on the US and South Korea to cease joint drills in order to de-escalate the situation on the peninsula and urged Pyongyang to halt nuclear tests. The proposal, which has been dubbed the "double freeze" plan, has been ultimately rejected by Washington.