Moscow Hopes Negative Consequences Of Us Withdrawal From Abm Treaty Will Be Minimal

The hope in Moscow is that the negative consequences of the US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty will be minimal, Russia's Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said at a news conference in the South African capital on Saturday. According to him, this decision by the US administration did not come as a surprise to Russia, "considering that Washington has been actively talking about it in the recent period, and the treaty itself envisages such a possibility". At the same time, the minister emphasised that Russia's security "will be further reliably guaranteed". In Ivanov's opinion, it is necessary to continue efforts - and Russia will be doing this - in the interests of strengthening strategic stability. "It is undesirable that this unilateral step by the American administration should harm strategic stability in the world," the Russian foreign policy chief stressed. Moscow is prepared to continue talks with the US on a new framework for strategic stability and on radical cuts in strategic offensive arms, he noted. "This step erodes the legal base which now supports the regime of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the entire system of arms control," Ivanov said. In this context, according to him, Moscow's task is "to prevent a further weakening of this legal base and to promote its consolidation through negotiations".