U.S. Has "Obscure" Arms Control Stance: Russia

A senior Russian diplomat on Monday said atomic arms control negotiations are still a matter of high concern, but uncertainties persist over the United States' stance, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Issues of significant interest in Moscow include the potential for final approval of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated on Monday.

"The disarmament process must be multilateral," Ryabkov said in comments released by the Russian Foreign Ministry. "Nothing there could be done without the U.S. participation, but the U.S. position is obscure."

The two nations pledged under the New START pact to each by 2018 reduce their count of deployed strategic nuclear weapons to 1,550 warheads and 700 delivery systems. There has been talk but no action toward further reductions.

Ryabkov said no substantive outreach from Washington is anticipated prior to the Nov. 6 U.S. elections.

He added: "Regarding the (nuclear disarmament) talks, a multilateral approach is an integral part of strengthening strategic stability. The Russia-U.S. cooperation (over nuclear security) has been unfolding more and more in third countries."

The diplomat said thwarting attempts by "potential malefactors" to acquire atomic substances is a matter of significant importance for his nation.

He reaffirmed Russia's call for the removal of U.S. nonstrategic atomic armaments from Europe, as well as the elimination of means to deploy the bombs close to Russian territory.

"For the dialogue to take place," Ryabkov stated, "it is necessary that the nonstrategic nuclear weapons the U.S. deployed in Europe lose the strategic capabilities toward Russia they possess currently." He cited bomber aircraft suited to transport such arms.

October 30, 2012
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A senior Russian diplomat on Monday said atomic arms control negotiations are still a matter of high concern, but uncertainties persist over the United States' stance, the Xinhua News Agency reported.