5 Jun 2023 12:39

Kremlin welcomes U.S. readiness for dialogue with Russia on new nuclear arms control system - Peskov

MOSCOW. June 5 (Interfax) - The Kremlin welcomes a statement by U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on the readiness for dialogue with Russia on a new nuclear arms control system, but expects a formal invitation, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"This is an important and positive statement by Mr. Sullivan. Of course, we are expecting it to be supported with steps that will be made de facto through diplomatic channels. Then it will be possible to consider proposed formats for dialogue," Peskov told reporters.

Journalists asked whether his statement meant Russia was ready for such dialogue. "Russia remains open to dialogue, and we believe it is of paramount importance, but to begin with, we need to understand how this offer is formulated," Peskov said.

"It is very difficult to rely on press reports in such important and sensitive matters, especially as we have an acute deficit of mutual trust in our bilateral relations," Peskov said.

"The United States is ready to engage Russia now to manage nuclear risks and develop a post-2026 arms control framework. We are prepared to enter into those discussions now," Sullivan said at the U.S. Arms Control Association.

He said the United States was ready to establish such a dialogue with Russia without preconditions.

The United States will remain committed to the New START Treaty if Russia acts likewise, Sullivan said. The treaty expires in February 2026.