Moscow Ready To Discuss Washington's Missile Defence Concerns

Moscow is ready to discuss US missile defence concerns with the United States, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said at an international press conference in the Russian association of international research. According to the minister, answers to the pressing questions can be found solely through a dialogue. At the same time, Ivanov emphasised that solutions to these problems should not run counter to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty /ABM Treaty/ of 1972 /this Soviet-American treaty curbed the arms race/ and the whole developed structure of agreements on non-proliferation and arms control. This is what all Russia's initiatives target on. To quote Ivanov, Russia-US cooperation is utterly significant for the overall climate in the world. With this in mind, Moscow would like to see a different start in its relations with the new US administration. "However, we have what we have," he said. At the same time, the minister said that nobody can make Russia give up its strategic line oriented not at the situation but at long-term interests of Russia and the USA alike. That is the conclusion at which Igor Ivanov and US Secretary of State came at a recent meeting. The Russian Foreign Minister expressed the hope that such a stance would be confirmed during his forthcoming visit to Washington next May. It is of fundamental importance, pointed Ivanov, since the agenda of the Russian-American dialogue is sated with issues of key importance for the future of international security. High on the agenda will be the range of problems of strategic stability. Russia assumes a constructive stance on this issue and is ready to both defend its approaches and carefully treat US grounded concerns in the missile defence sphere, stressed Ivanov.

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