Russia ready to improve ties with US
Russia is not satisfied with the current state of relations with the United States, but it is ready for constructive steps to improve them, the deputy minister said in an interview on Wednesday. He said the biggest problems were raised by the United States and therefore the positive steps depended primarily on the Americans. “The faster they formulate their preferences, be it in the form of a presidential address or any other form, the better it is for the cause. We are ready for constructive steps,” Ryabkov stated. In particular, Russia expects the US President’s National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon to deliver a message from Barack Obama detailing suggestions for repairing the ties between the nations, the top diplomat noted. The Deputy Minister said that Russia was not planning to renounce any interstate agreements with the United States, but said that several documents might be re-considered and altered. The first treaty on this list is the Russian-US program on utilizing weapons of mass destruction, the so called Nunn-Lugar program and according to Ryabkov, this treaty will definitely be reconsidered in the near future.The issue will be discussed during the visit by the US Assistant Secretary for Arms Control Rose Gottemoeller, scheduled for mid-February, Ryabkov said. Several obsolete economic, nuclear and space agreements can also be changed, the official added. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met US Vice President Joe Biden in Munich on Saturday, in the first high-level talks since Barack Obama’s re-election. The meeting took place with the background of mutual disagreement, with the exchange of blacklists dubbed the Magnitsky Act and the Dima Yakovlev law, and over the situation in Syria. The two officials agreed to arrange visits by US officials to Moscow that could improve the situation, including the possible future visit by the newly appointed US Secretary of State, John Kerry.