DUSHANBE, September 3 (Itar-Tass) — The US does not meet Russia halfway on anti-missile defence, Itar-Tass learnt on Saturday from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who is in Dushanbe as a member of the Russian delegation.
“Chances (to come to agreement) on sectoral ABM remain always until the case is closed,” the minister said. “But there is no evidence now that they are ready to meet us halfway,” Lavrov stated. “Our stand is based on the initiative, put forth by President Medvedev,” the minister noted. “It lies in a sectoral approach; naturally, it (initiative) was formulated in a general outline.”
“The president spelled out principles on which we are ready to cooperate, above all equal cooperation from the very start, on examination of threats, joint work on agreeing places, on which it is possible to fight these threats and, if need be, to build up military-technical infrastructure,” Lavrov stated.
According to the minister, “our negotiators repeatedly met on the basis of this stand; both military and diplomatic experts spelled out in detail specific aspects of our approach”. “We are assured that the American plan is perfect and needs no modification, though we see direct risks in it for our Strategic Armed Forces,” Lavrov continued.
Replying to Itar-Tass how the halt in the negotiating process on ABM will tell on the execution of the START Treaty, the minister noted that “the START Treaty presupposes that any development of events, which will create a threat for security of one of the sides, gives the other side the right to withdraw from the Treaty”.
“So, we shall watch to what extent and when such a real threat emerges,” warned the head of Russian diplomacy.
He noted at the same time that Moscow “does not stop efforts for the time being”. “We insistently hold contacts with Americans within the Russian-NATO Council, elucidating our approaches. They understand everything pretty well, since everything is said utterly plain, as it was said during numerous rounds of consultations between Moscow and Washington and NATO countries,” the minister added.
“We shall continue (talks); there are reasonable people there who are ready to recognise the right nature of our arguments, but these voices are not heard due to NATO discipline.”