22 Aug 2019 10:29

Pentagon chief's New START Treaty remarks don't guarantee equal respect for sides' interests - Russia's Kosachyov

MOSCOW. Aug 22 (Interfax) - U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper's media remarks on conditions for preserving the New START Treaty fail to represent a responsible position, which envisages, above all, professional talks and equal respect for the sides' interests, Chairman of the Russian Federation Council's Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachyov told Interfax on Thursday.

"Such manners have nothing in common with responsible negotiating positions, which, first, need to be announced at relevant professional talks rather than from the TV screen, and, second, inherently confirm the sides' ultimate commitment to the very goal of preserving the treaty and guaranteeing equal respect for the positions and interests of the sides during its subsequent implementation or update," Kosachyov said.

"This has always been and remains Russia's position, which is unambiguous and honest. The Americans have yet to formulate and confirm a position like this one," he said when commenting on the Pentagon chief's recent remarks that, should it be extended, the New Start Treaty ought to cover all new Russian systems of weapons.

"It's typical of the Americans to assail their opponent with as many demands and conditions as possible, at the same time leaving themselves full room for maneuver without any obligations of their own," Kosachyov said.

Esper said in an interview with the Fox News TV channel that "if there's going to be an extension of New START, then we need to make sure we include all of these new weapons that [...] Russia is pursuing."

The New START Treaty expires in 2021.