MOSCOW, February 28. /TASS/. Moscow is prepared to discuss the issues of strategic nature with Washington, including on the global missile defense system that is being created by the United States, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Tuesday at a round-table discussion in Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) dedicated to the Russian-US relations.
"Russia is open to a full-fledged discussion on strategic issues with the US. We need to take into account all factors influencing strategic stability and our security," he said.
Ryabkov noted that among such factors are "the creation of the global missile defense system by the Americans and the development of non-nuclear strategic offensive weapons as part of the Prompt Global Strike concept by them."
He also pointed to the problems regarding compliance with the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles by Washington and the threats of emergence of weapons in outer space. He also recalled that the United States had not ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty.
Moscow welcomes US President Donald Trump’s statements in which he points to the need to normalize relations between the two countries.
"We positively view his public statements on the need to normalize bilateral relations. Trump has confirmed his intention to build practical cooperation in his two telephone conversations with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, held on November 14 and January 28," the diplomat added.
A pragmatic dialog with Washington based on equality remains Moscow’s benchmark, according to Ryabkov.
"Whatever may happen, Russia’s benchmark - a pragmatic dialog on the basis of equality and real respect for mutual interests - will remain unchanged. First and foremost we press for the respect of our interests and priorities," Ryabkov said. "There can be no alternative to improving the climate of our relations, let alone their quality."