MOSCOW, April 25. /TASS/. Moscow has been working on finding a possible time and place for strategic stability talks with Washington, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told TASS on Wednesday when asked about the possibility of his meeting with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon.
"This issue has been growing more and more important, there will be more difficulties unless progress is achieved," the senior Russian diplomat said. "This is why we have been keeping an eye on this issue, working on finding a possible time and place for resuming dialogue," he added.
According to Ryabkov, under the current situation, "there is the need to make preparations for such a meeting." "We do not refuse to hold it," he said, adding that "the general atmosphere in our relations in the past weeks and months, particularly stemming from a number of destructive steps taken by Washington, does not help create conditions for dialogue on strategic stability," Ryabkov pointed out.
On March 8, Shannon told TASS that the US was looking "forward to hearing from our Russian friends so we can hold the talks."
Ryabkov and Shannon head their countries’ delegations to talks on strategic stability and bilateral issues. This particular channel of communication was established following then US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow in April 2017. In September 2017, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed that the two countries were determined to maintain this mechanism.
However, Moscow deemed it impossible to hold a new round of consultations in Vienna on March 6-7 after Washington had disrupted Russian-US meeting on cyber security.