The US refusal to sign a statement on the inadmissibility of nuclear war and lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons in doctrinal documents speaks volumes, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
He was commenting the words of the US President’s Special Representative for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea that the new US administration should not sign a statement on the inadmissibility of nuclear war.
“This is not just a whim of Billingslea or any other American leader who considers it unacceptable for the United States to sign a declaration on the inadmissibility of nuclear war. that they can be used as a weapon on the battlefield, and the refusal to fix in the doctrine that nuclear weapons are used only in response to an attack on the United States, these doctrinal nuances speak volumes,” he said.
Lavrov stressed that it is important for the Russian Federation to understand who and how, ultimately, will determine the position of the United States in the field of strategic offensive weapons, including non-nuclear ones.
Russia also proposed to the United States to extend the duration of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START III), and it said it expected administration of President-elect Joseph Biden concrete steps in this direction.
This was also announced by Lavrov.
As he noted, the Biden administration will agree with Moscow and Beijing in areas where it is beneficial for the Americans and where they cannot do without dialogue with Russia and China.
“The most important and priority should concern the absolutely abnormal situation in the sphere of arms control. We hear about the intentions of the Biden administration to resume dialogue with us on this topic and, among other things, to try to agree on its extension before the expiration of the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms on February 5. We will wait for concrete proposals, our position is well known, it remains in force,” Lavrov stressed.
According to him, the US line on containing Russia and China will continue under Biden, but the manners of the new US administration of the US towards Russia may become more polite.
“In short: we do not expect radical changes, but, of course, the methods of promoting American leadership, so to speak, will be somewhat different,” the minister said.
He said he believed that the presence of politicians in Biden’s team, with whom Russia has previously conducted a dialogue, may allow the Russian side to begin work “without swinging.”
“These are familiar people. On the one hand, this allows, if there is a reciprocal desire, if there is a desire to respond to the numerous proposals on the Russian-American agenda that we have made and which remain on the table, to begin negotiations without a long break and without swinging. On the other hand, it gives us an opportunity to roughly imagine what line the old and new members of the foreign policy team of the new US administration will pursue,” Lavrov said, commenting on the possibility of appointing Tony Blinken and Victoria Nuland as US Secretary of State and his deputy.
The New START could be prolonged if both sides agree, but in mid-December, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the US was only interested into one side committing to the treaty, and that side was Moscow.
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