MOSCOW, August 23. /TASS/. Moscow’s response to Washington’s hostile actions has been extremely balanced and moderate, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with the Chinese and Japanese media.
"In accordance with the logic of international relations and international law, we have the full right to respond in kind to any steps that the US takes," Ryabkov pointed out.
"But we understand that in some cases, it will do us no good," he added. "We also understand that in some cases, such steps, particularly if they are asymmetrical, can damage regional and global security," the senior Russian diplomat said.
"We have been carefully calibrating our retaliatory political and diplomatic measures," he stressed.
According to Ryabkov, evening up the number of the Russian and US diplomatic personnel was "a rather moderate and balanced response to what the United States had done, infringing upon Russia’s core economic, political and other interests." Ryabkov also said that the reduction of the US diplomatic personnel in Russia was underway.
Strategic stability talks
Dialogue with the new US administration on strategic security is held slowly, but Russia expects to resume these contacts in the near future:
"We expect that soon certain contacts will resume, especially on a number of issues on everyone's lips, on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and we have confirmed our commitment to it many times," Ryabkov has noted.
"As for a broader issue where dialogue [with the US] is possible and which areas of work we consider as reasonable and promising, I would name two areas here, which due to clear reasons demand attention, contacts and a search for solutions. First, these are issues of control over armaments and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and therefore strategic stability," Ryabkov said.
"Unfortunately, now under the new administration, dialogue on this issue is held very slowly. But we expect that soon certain contacts will resume, especially on a number of issues on everyone's lips, on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and we have confirmed our commitment to it many times," Ryabkov said.
The diplomat recalled that soon time will come to report on the implementation of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. "We believe this treaty is a very important and a stabilizing factor, moreover in the conditions when there is a growing movement in the world in favor of completely banning nuclear weapons and there are more voices calling in fact for replacing the current architecture of global security and control over armaments by something new, selective that concerns only a group of countries and sensitive for the countries which are nuclear in line with the treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons," he said.
The second possible area of cooperation is resolving regional conflicts, Ryabkov said. "I again mention the positive assessment of cooperation with the US on Syria," he said.
"The concepts of de-escalation zones, which were drawn up by us without the participation of the US, but involving other partners, particularly Turkey and Iran, proved to be efficient, and now we see that the US is more involved in the process of this work on stabilizing the situation in Syrian regions based on de-escalation zones. In fact, we believe the involvement of the US in this constructive work is very fruitful, and we will continue this further."
"As for North Korea, dialogue with the US is held in this direction, although we see on the one hand, the tides of hostile rhetoric what has a destabilizing influence on the situation in Northeast Asia. On the other hand, our American colleagues absolutely and unlimitedly tend to draft new sanctions measures against North Korea in the UN Security Council," he said.