Interview Russia’s Ambassador to the U.S.

Arms Control Today has published an interview with Anatoly Antonov, Russian ambassador to the United States on issues including the current status of U.S.-Russian strategic stability talks, the future of New START treaty, talks on intermediate-range missile systems, involving China in arms control agreements, and President Vladimir Putin’s proposal for a summit of the leaders of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

On the responsibility of Russia and United States towards strategic stability, Ambassador Antonov commented that “it is crucial to maintain the bilateral strategic stability dialogue at any given circumstance, regardless of political situation.” The interview shed the light on the consultations between the two parties that took place in Vienna in January towards which Russia had a “cautious optimism” as Antonov put it.

Antonov assured Russia’s readiness and willingness to “immediately and unconditionally” extend the New Start Treaty.However, he added that Russia’s “goodwill is not enough”, the consent of the United States is essential here. The Trump administration has been delaying a decision over the last standing nuclear arms control treaty from the times of the Cold War, alternatively the administration has been shifting the focus t involving China in the treaty. The Russian Ambassador described this insistence by some of the American partners as an “obsession” which will eventually turn into a barrier in the course of the Russian American strategic dialogue.

It must be noted that there had been a proposal for a meeting of the five permanent member of the UN Security Council made by the Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier in January 2020. The United Nations welcomed that proposal, Britain and the US also backed the initiative together with China and France. The Kremlin sees this proposed summit as necessary to “find ways of easing global tension”.

Source - Arms Control Association

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