12:53 GMT +323 April 2018
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    Russian FM: Washington Is Interested to Continue Strategic Dialogue With Moscow

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Despite the fact that the United States avoids dialogue on missile defense, it has recently reaffirmed its interest in the resumption of consultations on strategic stability with Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

    "[The United States] has recently reaffirmed once again its interest in the resumption of consultations on strategic stability with the Russian Federation," Lavrov told Vietnamese and Japanese reporters, adding that Russia was open to such consultations.

    In this regard, Lavrov, who will visit Japan, where the US ballistic missile defense systems are being deployed, on March 21-22, added that Moscow would inform Tokyo of the progress of consultations with the US partners.

    Earlier in March, a group of Democratic senators called on the US State Department to resume strategic stability consultations with Russia in light of Russian President Vladimir Putin's address to the country's parliament, in which he mentioned new types of weapons being received by the country's armed forces.

    On March 1, Putin made his annual address to the Federal Assembly, which comprises the Federation Council and State Duma. The Russian leader announced the development of new types of armaments, including intercontinental underwater drones, nuclear-powered cruise missiles and a prospective hypersonic missile, and showed footage featuring tests of these weapons.

    The Russian president stressed that Russia's efforts toward enhancing its defense capabilities were being carried out within the framework of existing international accords. According to Putin, Russia is creating advanced weapon systems in response to the deployment of US missile defense systems, and these arms present no threat to other states.

    Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister also stressed, that the United States aimed to devalue Russia's strategic nuclear potential by deploying its global missile defense system.

    Lavrov recalled that following the United States' withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, Moscow had repeatedly tried to persuade Washington to revise the decision and to create a joint mechanism for the consideration of issues related to ballistic missile defense.

    "Everything that has been done by our US colleagues made us believe that the global system of missile defense was created not to confront threats emanating from Iran and North Korea but to encircle Russia from all sides with these missile defense systems, which, according to our servicemen's estimations, really aimed to devalue our strategic nuclear potential," Lavrov stressed.

    The United States has been installing its missile defense systems on the territories of its allies, including Japan and South Korea, on the pretext of addressing the North Korean threat. Such stems have triggered harsh criticism from Moscow and Beijing, which view the systems' deployment as a US attempt to upset the strategic balance in the region and worldwide.

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    Tags:
    diplomacy, cooperation, missiles, security, dialogue, INF treaty, Sergei Lavrov, United States, Russia
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