Moscow Holds U.s. Decision To Withdraw From Abm Treaty Was Not Dictated By Security Reasons

Moscow holds that the decision by the U.S. administration to unilaterally withdraw from the ABM Treaty was not dictated by security reasons, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said in Windhoek. He described the U.S. move as "a political decision reflecting a certain ideology." "We would like to hope that, following this move, Washington will not do the same with regard to other arms control treaties and agreements," the minister pointed out. At the same time, Ivanov said Moscow welcomed the U.S. readiness, officially expressed by the U.S. administration, to immediately begin negotiations with Russia on new frameworks for strategic relations between the two countries and to conclude a treaty on radical reductions in strategic offensive armaments. "This is a good chance to show to the world one's devotion to the principles of strategic stability," Ivanov said. He emphasised that Moscow is ready to enter into negotiations with the U.S.A. on the entire range of these issues without delay. "We hope that Russian-U.S. contacts, which have been very active of late, will be maintained in order to reach mutually acceptable agreements for preserving strategic stability," Ivanov said. He noted that Russia has always emphasised that issues pertaining to strategic stability and to the 1972 ABM Treaty are not only issues of Russian-U.S. relations. As these problems are of a global nature and are directly related to international stability and security, they were attached special importance during Ivanov's Friday negotiations with the Namibian leadership. The Russian foreign minister expressed gratitude to the Namibian government for its "firm and clear-cut position in support of the ABM Treaty," which it assumed, specifically, for three years during votes at the United Nations on a draft resolution in support of the treaty.

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