MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. Business-as-usual relations with the United States are no longer possible, because Moscow and Washington are in fact "in the condition of an open conflict," Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said during a discussion A World without START: What’s Next? on the platform of the Valdai discussion club.
"The US counterparts have been telling jokes the business-as-usual idiom is no longer applicable, because there has been no business as usual with Russia for a very long time. I say that we can no longer maintain relations as before, because ‘before’ is a reference to everything that had existed prior to the period when we found ourselves in a condition of open conflict with the US," he said.
Ryabkov pointed out that, in accordance with the legal doctrine, the interpretation of which is contained in the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Russia had every right to suspend participation in the strategic arms reduction treaty (New START).
"Suspension is one of the forms of demonstrating that it is unacceptable for us to stay within the previous framework," Ryabkov said, while commenting on US claims there was no legal opportunity for suspending participation in New START.
Earlier, Ryabkov said on TV Channel One that there could be no question of "reversing" Russia's suspension of its participation in New START in the context of current actions by the United States.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in his message to the Federal Assembly on February 21 that Moscow was suspending participation in the New START treaty, but not quitting it altogether. He emphasized that before resuming a discussion of further activities under the treaty the Russian side must have a clear understanding how the New START would take into account the arsenals of not only the United States, but also of other NATO nuclear powers - Britain and France. On March 1, Putin signed a law suspending Russia's participation in New START.