Russia says strategic talks with U.S. possible only as part of broader debate

By Thomson Reuters Mar 20, 2024 | 5:29 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Wednesday that it would only discuss nuclear arms control with the United States as part of a broader debate, saying that Washington would not get away with trying to start talks on its own terms.

“We are ready to discuss issues of strategic stability only as part of a single complex,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters when asked about media reports the United States had proposed talks with Russia and China.

“Washington is offering to have dialogue only on U.S. terms,” Zakharova said. She said the United States had lost control over arms which it had supplied to Ukraine so it was difficult for Moscow to agree to arms talks with Washington.

The war in Ukraine has triggered the deepest crisis in Russia’s relations with the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

The Kremlin, which accuses the U.S. of fighting against Russia by supporting Ukraine with money, weapons and intelligence, says relations with Washington have probably never been worse.

(Writing by Felix Light; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Mark Trevelyan)