VIENNA, June 4. /TASS/. Russia and the US may avoid a new arms race together, and Moscow expects that work in this area will be launched, Russian President Vladimir Putin said ahead of his visit to Austria in an interview with the Austrian television and radio company ORF, a fragment from which was broadcasted on the ORF radio on Monday.
"In a telephone conversation [US President] Donald [Trump] said that he is worried with a new arms race, and I agree with him. We were not initiators of this scenario. As you know, we did not withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty," Putin reiterated.
Putin shares "the US president’s opinion that we should think of how to avoid a new arms race," he said. "And I hope that this work will start between us directly, personally, as well," the Russian president stated.
Putin did not give a direct answer to the question on why his new meeting with Trump has not taken place so far. "This is what you should ask our colleagues from the United States about," he answered. "To my mind, this is the result of a domestic political fight in the US." The Russian president reiterated that the leaders met at international venues [G20 summits and APEC in 2017] and also held several telephone conversations.
The Kremlin press service earlier reported that on June 5 Putin will come to Austria on an official visit. Negotiations with President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen and Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz were scheduled for the visit.