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Lavrov slams US politicians’ narrative against extending New START Treaty as dangerous

The narrative of US politicians against extending the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) after 2021 is dangerous and short-sighted, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Italy’s news agency AGI on Thursday.

"In October, seeking to ensure the freedom of actions for the US in projecting military power, US President Donald Trump announced plans of withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty," Russia’s top diplomat said.

"Someone in the US political establishment also casts doubt on the extension of the New START Treaty, which expires in 2021. We consider this ‘school of thought’ as short-sighted and dangerous," Lavrov noted.

"Returning to the philosophy of preserving peace based on the concept of mutually guaranteed destruction does not meet the reality of the 21st century," the foreign minister said. "Will the security of the US [and NATO] and Russia be enhanced when we again start looking at each other at nuclear gunpoint?"

According to Lavrov, Russia and the Unites States, the world’s major nuclear powers, bear special responsibility for maintaining global security. "We won’t understand and will be alarmed by the US leadership’s drive to reshape and actually eliminate the current international arms limitation regime."

Common challenges

Lavrov stated that the number of threats and challenges, which demand joint work of both countries ranging from anti-terror fight to settling regional crises and climate issues, is not decreasing.

Moscow is open for building "mutually beneficial partnership with Washington, but it should be based on the principles of mutual respect and taking into account interests."

"We don’t see understanding of US partners now. We still expect that common sense in Washington will finally prevail," Lavrov said.

"This would meet the interests of both the people of Russia and the United States, and also the entire global community."

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 22Nov18]

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