Russian Embassy in US proposes constructive dialogue on arms control to Pentagon
The Russian Embassy in the United States has proposed a constructive face-to-face dialogue on the strategic stability and arms control to the Pentagon, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov told Sputnik.
Several days ago, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defence Policy Robert Soofer said that Russia was initiating an arms race in the sphere of non-strategic weapons. Antonov believes that these accusations are aimed at lowering the barrier of using nuclear weapons by the US.
"We would be ready to accept Soofer to have a discussion in the Embassy or meet him at any other US platform comfortable for him. This would be a good demonstration of our responsive approach to maintaining the strategic stability and arms control," Antonov said.
He stressed that the deployment of low-yield nuclear warheads by the US -- not Russian moves -- were destabilising the global system of nuclear deterrence. He cited the deployment of W76-2 low-yield nuclear warheads to Trident II submarines as an example.
The Ambassador said that the Pentagon should read the Russian document on nuclear deterrence published on June 2.
"The document reaffirms the exclusively defensive nature of our nuclear policy as well as contains clear conditions for the possible shift to using nuclear weapons," Antonov said.
According to the Ambassador, the constructive dialogue between Russia and the US was launched in June-August with meetings between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and US Special Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea.
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