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Russian Foreign Minister on Nuclear Arms Control
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia on January 18, 2024, where he dismissed the United States’ proposal to resume a dialogue on nuclear arms control. Lavrov cited the impossibility of such talks while Washington continues to offer military support to Ukraine.
Accusations Against the West
Lavrov accused the West of fueling global security risks by encouraging Ukraine to increase strikes on Russian territory. He also warned that Moscow will achieve its goals in the conflict regardless of Western support for Kyiv.
Rejection of US Proposal
The top diplomat mentioned that Moscow has rejected the U.S. proposal to resume contacts in the sphere of nuclear arms control. He stated that for such talks to be held, Washington needs to revise its current policy toward Russia.
Allegations Against the US
Lavrov charged that Washington’s push for the revival of nuclear talks has been driven by a desire to resume inspections of Russia’s nuclear weapons sites, which he described as “indecent” in light of Ukraine’s attacks on Russian nuclear-capable bomber bases during the conflict. He further emphasized that there is no basis for any additional joint measures in the sphere of arms control and reduction of strategic risks, as well as for any discussion of strategic stability issues with the U.S., amid what he referred to as a ‘hybrid war’ waged by Washington against Russia.
Focus on Strategic Stability
The minister highlighted that Russia firmly links the possibility of talks on strategic stability with the West fully renouncing its course aimed at undermining Russia’s security and interests, emphasizing that Washington’s push for restarting nuclear arms talks is rooted in a desire to “try to establish control over our nuclear arsenal and minimize nuclear risks for itself.” He accused the West of obstructing any discussions on ending the conflict and inciting the escalation of attacks on Russia
Resolution in Conflict
Lavrov reaffirmed Russia’s commitment to pursue what it calls the “special military operation” regardless of Western pressure, stating, “We will consistently and persistently press the goals of the special military operation and we will achieve them. They should have no hope that Russia could be defeated in any way. Those in the West who fantasize about it have failed to learn history lessons.”