23:06 GMT28 May 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States needs to engage in dialogue with Russia on a number of issues in order to address mutual concerns, Acting Secretary of State John Sullivan said during a press conference at the G7 summit in Toronto on Monday.

    "There are a number of areas where we still need to have a dialogue with Russia," Sullivan said.

    Sullivan highlighted working with Russia on stability, counterterrorism, new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) including treaty violations by the Russians that need to be addressed.

    Seeking areas of cooperation will not prevent the United States from taking action against Russian behavior that is contrary to international rules, Sullivan said.

    Tensions between Washington and Moscow escalated after US-UK-French airstrikes against the Syrian government on April 14 for an alleged chemical attack. Russia’s defense ministry said it had proof that the UK was involved in staging the chemical attack in Duma to justify intervention.

    Earlier on Monday, Russia and China condemned the West’s missile attack on Syria as a gross violation of international law and called for an objective assessment by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference.

    Russia has refuted US accusations of violating the START or INF treaties. In February, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused Washington of arbitrarily renaming weapons to circumvent START provisions. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in December that the United States had de facto withdrawn from the INF treaty when it deployed missile launch systems in Romania.


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