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Russia's top diplomat urges West to resume joint arms control efforts

GENEVA, March 20. /TASS/. Russia is calling on the United States and other Western countries to resume joint efforts in the arms control sphere, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a plenary meeting at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament on Wednesday.

"I’m sure that all of us will have enough wisdom and strength to overcome the crisis, preserve and enhance modern system of international deals on arms control and nonproliferation, adding new agreements there," Lavrov stressed.

However, the statement made at the conference by the US representative has been "evidence to the contrary" so far, he noted.

"I hope that Western colleagues will be able to soberly assess the situation and will responsibly set priorities and resume collective efforts jointly with us on ensuring peace and security, including arms control," Russia’s top diplomat said.

Nuclear capacity 

The new arms race provoked by the United States’ actions can result in a situation where many countries will view their nuclear capabilities as the only guarantee of their national security, Sergey Lavrov said. 

"The United States’ withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty can result in a large-scale arms race that will be unpredictable in terms of its consequences. In contrast to the 1950-1970s, when the issue at hand was the two countries’ strategic arsenals, the new arms race will be triggered by many countries’ desire to view the presence of their own nuclear and missile capabilities as the only guarantee of their national security," he stressed.