VIENNA, December 6. /TASS/. Prospects for dialogue on the initiative of the German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, regarding control over conventional weapons is contingent on the actions of Germany's allies in NATO, not on Russia, a high-ranking Russian diplomat told TASS on Wednesday.
"The prospects for dialogue are contingent in this case on Federal Germany's allies in NATO, not on Russia," said Mikhail Ulyanov, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department for control over conventional armaments.
"It looks some of the NATO member-states don’t feel particularly enthusiastic about Steinmeier’s initiative," he said.
"Still others, like the Americans, are striving to shove the conventional arms control into all the ‘three baskets’ of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe but this method will drive dialogue into a standstill in all cases," Ulyanov said.
"But this will be the choice of some parties to the pan-European process, not Russia’s choice," he said.
"We’ve taken account of the German Foreign Minister’s initiative and we think it enjoys demand in the conditions of today where a growth of military tensions and bellicose rhetoric on the part of some of our NATO partners," Ulyanov said.
"In principle, arms control is an instrument envisioned in the fundamental documents and doctrines of the Russian Federation as way of assuring Russia’s national security," he said.
"Nothing special took place in the past several years and our NATO partners were unprepared for initiating any proposals, while we restrained ourselves purposefully because we had a discouraging experience going back to the previous period," Ulyanov said. He recalled that the efforts to align the conventional weapons control regime with the realities of nowadays flopped through no fault on the Russian side then.
"That’s why we’re open for dialogue and we’ve always said it but this dialogue should be based on mutual respect," Ulyanov said.