3 Mar 2020 20:27

Trump backs Putin's idea of meeting among leaders of 5 nuclear powers - Lavrov

HELSINKI. March 3 (Interfax) - United States President Donald Trump has agreed to a meeting among the leaders of five nuclear powers, i.e., China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, which was proposed earlier by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"The initiative has been supported by the president of France and the president of the People's Republic of China, and President Trump very recently reaffirmed his consent and support for this proposal," Lavrov told journalists on Tuesday.

"As for the time and venue, these matters are being agreed upon now. I hope we'll be able to reach a consensus very soon, and then this will be announced," he said.

Commenting further on the agenda of this meeting, Lavrov said, "As we see it and as we told our partners belonging to the UN Security Council permanent members, the agenda should deal with the need to fulfill the special responsibility of these five states for maintaining international peace and security, which is codified in the UN Charter."

"This is much broader than just issues related to disarmament and arms control. This also includes regional conflicts, new challenges and threats, such as international terrorism, drug trafficking, other forms of organized crime, human trafficking, migration problems, and new technology, which could run out of control and join the list of deadly threats to humankind," Lavrov said.

These issues must be reviewed and analyzed "at the very top level," he said.

"Certainly, aspects of strategic stability are part of this agenda, which require urgent and extraordinary steps, but we are also talking about humankind's survival in a broader sense. Experts have started talking about the likelihood of a nuclear war for the first time in years. This is unacceptable," he said.

As was reported earlier, while speaking at the Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Antisemitism international forum in Jerusalem on January 23, President Vladimir Putin proposed arranging a summit between Russia, China, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom to discuss the most pressing international problems.

The countries that founded the UN, whose 75th anniversary is to be marked in 2020, "bear special responsibility for preserving civilization," Putin said.