Putin, Pompeo discuss New START, US withdrawal from INF

Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Chief Sergey Naryshkin, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L-R) at the meeting with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo © Mikhail Metzel / TASS

SOCHI, May 15, 2019, TASS. Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo have discussed the situation with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), and Russia expressed disappointment over US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said on Tuesday, reported the TASS.

Ushakov said that Putin and Pompeo discussed issues of strategic stability at the talks in Sochi.

“We said that we expect the US administration to specify [US President Donald] Trump’s idea of strategic stability. We also expressed disappointment over US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. We discussed the situation around the New START which expires in 2021,” Ushakov added.

He noted that if Washington does not finalize its position on the New START soon, then Moscow “will have to take necessary measures to ensure its security and defense capabilities.”

“At the same time, our president stressed that we are ready to return to a normal pragmatic dialogue on all aspects of strategic stability and on all aspects of arms control. In this regard, we confirmed the agreements reached by the two presidents on launching dialogue between our Foreign Ministry and US Department of State on issues of strategic stability. In the framework of this dialogue which will start in the near future, as we expect, we will professionally and comprehensively discuss issue pertaining to missile defense, New START, INF, and other matters associated with ensuring strategic stability and security,” Ushakov concluded.

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