Lavrov: credibility gap underlies security issues

Russia hopes a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty will be quickly ratified, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after meeting with a group of US Congressmen to discuss next week's Moscow visit by Barack Obama.

Lavrov said he expected Presidents Medvedev and Obama to agree to a new START treaty and called on US lawmakers to back it.

“I am sure that the agreements that will be reached at the summit will require your involvement in the ratification process in the near future,” Interfax quoted him as saying.

Earlier reports said that a future treaty on the reduction of strategic offensive armaments would be a central subject of the talks between the two presidents. The sides have put forward the goal of working out the agreement by the end of the year, which will require the approval from the parliaments in Russia and the US.

The current strategic arms reduction treaty, or START, runs out in December.

Also, at today’s celebration of the 100th birthday of famed Soviet diplomat and politician Andrey Gromyko, which took place in the headquarters of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Lavrov spoke of those issues related to European and Euro-Atlantic security.

According to Lavrov, the system, which the world inherited after the Cold War, has numerous “glitches.”

“As for the agreement on European security, there is a lot to discuss. Consultations in the OSCE format, within the EU and in the Russia-NATO Council, show that our ideas help our partners verify approaches to security issues,” Lavrov said, as quoted by ITAR-TASS.

“Creation of the open system on security, available to all in the Euro-Atlantic zone, must rest upon agreed and legally fixed principles, such as security’s indivisibility,” he added.

Sergey Lavrov stressed, in particular, that the world community “should overcome the credibility gap in international relations.”