05:21 GMT23 April 2021
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    Russia would welcome discussions with the United States on further nuclear arms reductions if those talks respect Moscow’s interests and security concerns, Russian Foreign Ministry official Vladimir Leontyev said.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Leontyev, the ministry’s deputy director general for nonproliferation and arms control, made comments Thursday during a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace discussion on the future of arms control.

    "Russia is open to constructive dialogue on nuclear disarmament, but this dialogue may be meaningful only when it is based on… the mutual respect of interests and concerns of all sides," he said.

    The United States has often argued that Russia is not open to discussing further nuclear disarmament, but Leontyev argued it is "very difficult" to have a serious discussion "under conditions when Russia is subject to very strong international… political and military pressure."

    The United States and NATO have increasingly increased their military presence along Russia’s borders and carried out large-scale exercises aimed at deterring Russia.

    Moscow and Washington are committed to substantially reduce their nuclear arsenals under terms of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which is on schedule for full implementation by February 2018.


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