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Participants in Reykjavik conference stress importance of Russian-US dialogue

October 12, 12:04 UTC+3 OSLO
Most Western countries’ representatives "are not ready to understand the seriousness of Russia’s concerns over the missile defense issues
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© EPA/US DEPARTMENT OF STATE

OSLO, October 12. /TASS/. The participants of the international conference dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Soviet-US summit in Reykjavik, have emphasized the importance of the Russian-US dialogue, Vladimir Orlov, a member of the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, told TASS on Wednesday.

Politicians and experts from Europe, the US and Russia, as well as the diplomats who had taken part in the historical talks between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan on the strategic arms reduction, were invited to the conference.

"The US colleagues mentioned the importance and the possibility to maintain a dialogue on the missile defense," Orlov said. "We spoke about the danger of some conventional weapons turning into strategic ones so they must be taken into account in this regard as well as the nuclear weapons."

According to Orlov, most Western countries’ representatives "are not ready to understand the seriousness of Russia’s concerns over the missile defense issues while some of them are still convinced that Russia acted in a wrong way in Ukraine, that is an obstacle hampering the efforts to restore the dialogue on the European security."

"I think all the meeting’s participants saw Iceland’s readiness to use the 30th anniversary of the Gorbachev-Reagan meeting to make it clear that it [Iceland] is ready to help resume the dialogue between the West and Russia on the European security issues," Orlov added.

The historic meeting took place on September 11-12, 1986 when Gorbachev put forward a plan to radically reduce nuclear weapons aiming at their complete elimination in the future. However, this plan was not accepted as Reagan announced the US intended to continue the arms race in outer space. Nevertheless, after the Reykjavik meeting the talks continued, and in 1991 the two countries signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

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