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Russia ready to discuss nonproliferation, disarmament with EU, expects Brussels to act

Russia has not closed any track in dialogue with the European Union, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov says

BRUSSELS, April 24. /TASS/. Russia is ready for consultations with the European Union on the problems of nonproliferation and disarmament, though Brussels should take the initiative, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov told TASS on Saturday when commenting on the statement made by Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the EU Peter Stano on the interest in holding a dialogue with Moscow on the disarmament issue.

"If the EU is interested in that matter, we are ready for such discussions. Overall, we, Russia, have not closed any track in our dialogue with the European Union. All that has been frozen to date, have been frozen through the refrigerating unit of the European Union," he said, adding that Moscow expects suggestions if the EU "is eager to resume any dialogue," and "will take those suggestions with professional interest."

"Those subjects were present earlier in our relationship, not in the least as an independent track as the European Union is not a nuclear power and constantly emphasizes it is not a military bloc," the envoy noted.

"Typically, the latest round of such expert consultations was held in February 2017, more than four years ago. Of course, we discussed not so much nuclear issues as other aspects, including supplies of conventional armaments to various trouble spots. We discussed unlicensed production as well. Particularly, amid the recent waves of the EU’s expansion we noted that certain countries entering the EU were quite often involved in production of small and other types of arms on Soviet and Russian samples not in line with the international law. Sometimes licenses expired, sometimes they were annulled," Chizhov explained.

Peter Stano told TASS earlier this week that the European Union is seeking to restore its bilateral dialogue with Russia on the issues of disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation, commenting on the remark made by Russian President Vladimir Putin who said that Russia strongly urges foreign partners to discuss issues of global stability and draft a "security equation." The Russian leader underlined that Moscow is always open to broad international cooperation.