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US ready to agree new date of strategic stability talks with Russia - Shannon

At the same time he refrained from mentioning any preferable dates when such talks might be held

WASHINGTON, March 8. /TASS/. The United States is prepared to agree with Russia a new date and venue for another round of talks over strategic stability and ways of eliminating annoyances in bilateral relations. Washington is waiting for Moscow’s proposals on that score, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Thomas Shannon, told TASS on Wednesday.

"The short answer is yes. I was disappointed that we were unable to do the talks in Vienna. I would've been there today. But we are very open to rescheduling the talks and we look forward to hearing from our Russian friends so we can hold the talks," Shannon said.

At the same time he refrained from mentioning any preferable dates when such talks might be held.

"We will wait for my counterpart Deputy Minister Ryabkov. He will make a recommendation and we evaluate it. The same agenda as always," he added.

Russia’s ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov told TASS earlier that after Washington disrupted bilateral Russian-US consultations over security in cyberspace Moscow found it impossible to hold another round of talks on strategic stability and "irritants" in bilateral relations.

The meeting on cybersecurity in Geneva had been scheduled for the end of February. It failed to take place through the US administration’s fault. In a situation like this Moscow found it impossible to hold strategic stability talks in Vienna on March 6-7 and postponed them.

Ryabkov and Shannon co-chair the strategic stability negotiations. The establishment of this communication channel was one of the results of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow last April. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in September said that the two sides were determined to preserve this mechanism of regular contacts.