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US poised for serious talks with Russia on arms control, risk reduction — Nuland

In essence, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs disagreed with the suggestion that the global security architecture may require a thorough review

WASHINGTON, February 4. /TASS/. The United States is poised to engage in serious negotiations with Russia on issues of arms control and reduction of strategic risks, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland has told TASS in an interview.

"We felt when our presidents met in Geneva and as you know, I was privileged to be at that meeting that we actually set a pretty strong agenda to move forward in a stable and predictable way, which both presidents said that they wanted at that time," the US diplomat said.

"We've had pretty good cooperation on North Korea and other issues. We had proposed to work together on ransomware. We've done some work there, and we propose to settle many of these issues that have come up again in the Ukraine context, in arms control through the security and stability talks. So those talks started," Nuland continued.

"If we want to get back to a stable and predictable relationship, the first step is to take all of those areas in our response to President Putin and the Kremlin where we are ready to talk. And we are ready to have serious risk reduction arms control talks, including with regard to concerns about the US posture in Ukraine and the Russian posture in Ukraine," she added. "We're ready to have those talks. Let's have them."

"Let's prove to the world that when the US and Russia sit down together, things can be solved by diplomacy, but please under all circumstances, for the good of our people, for the good of the Russian people, the Ukrainian people, European security, global security, let's avoid war, let's avoid body bags coming home. It's going to be very brutal and bloody and we don't need that now," Nuland said.

In essence, she disagreed with the suggestion that the global security architecture may require a thorough review.

"What I would say to that is that the security system that we have built and frankly we built it together, you know, the Helsinki Final Act in 1975, Astana in 2010 has served us very well in terms of preserving peace and security," she said. "Now it is starting to fray in certain places, you know Russia's again building intermediate range nuclear weapons. Russia has concerns about some of the things we're doing. We have a lot of concerns about some of the things that Russia is doing."

"But that is why we think and why we put forward in our diplomatic proposal that we sent to President Putin, that it's time to go back to the table and work on arms control, work on military risk reduction, improve, and polish up the system that we have for the 21st century, not throw it out of the window and certainly not have a big war in Europe," Nuland added.