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Iran Press TV

Russia ready for strategic stability dialogue with US: Foreign ministry

Iran Press TV

Monday, 03 May 2021 3:43 PM

Russia says it is ready to hold a dialogue on issues of strategic stability with the United States after noticing signals from Washington indicating its readiness in this regard, emphasizing that Moscow will, however, insist on its missile defense concerns.

"We are not yet aware from what angle [US President] Joe Biden's administration will address various aspects of arms control, including anti-missile issues. At the same time, we are registering signals from Washington [showing] an intention to discuss issues of strategic stability with us," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Sputnik on Monday.

She voiced Moscow's preparedness to have a substantive dialogue with Washington on the issue while heeding national interests.

"However, we will not agree to anything without our interests and concerns being taken into account in return. If we manage to jointly arrive at a balance of interests then we can talk about agreements," the diplomat said.

She added that the US is pursuing absolute military dominance and looking forward to Russia's nuclear deterrent getting weaker.

"The US has adopted a goal of reaching absolute dominance in the military arena and counts on the devaluation of Russia's nuclear deterrence potential, [combined] with a focus on creation of a global missile defense system," Zakharova pointed out.

She said the US was making efforts to improve its military capabilities in space and create means for a rapid and high-precision non-nuclear strike.

According to a report last week, the Pentagon plans to spend almost $18 billion to develop, produce and support its new interceptor to stop incoming nuclear missiles allegedly from North Korea or Iran, in what will be the Biden administration's first major defense procurement initiative.

The US Department of Defense is also reported to be planning to install as many as 31 new interceptors, including 10 for testing, on missiles based in Alaska.

Relations between the United States and Russia have been strained over allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 and 2020 US presidential elections as well as the Ukrainian conflict.

Ties between the two Cold War foes hit a new low last month after Biden said in an interview that he believed Putin was a "killer" and that the Russian president would have to "pay a price" for interference in the 2020 US presidential election.

Russia has denied the accusations of interference in US elections. After Biden's offensive remark, Moscow recalled the Russian ambassador to Washington for consultations, even though the Russian president himself took the comment dismissively.

Biden offered the proposal for a summit with Putin afterwards.

His administration earlier this month slapped sanctions on Russia for alleged meddling in the US elections and also ordered 10 Russian diplomats expelled.

In a tit-for-tat move, Russia declared 10 US diplomats persona non grata and blacklisted eight current and former American officials, also banning the US Embassy and its consulates from hiring Russian citizens and third-country nationals.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday that bilateral relations between Moscow and Washington are now even worse than during the Cold War due to a lack of mutual respect.

"During the Cold War, the tensions were flying high, and risky crisis situations often emerged, but there was also a mutual respect," Lavrov said in a Russian state television interview. "It seems to me there is a deficit of it now."

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