The Minister believes that today Russian-US relations would “have gained strongly” from establishing the atmosphere of mutual trust and mutual respect in them. Such atmosphere featured the dialogue between the two countries’ presidents all these eight years but not always showed itself at the “lower floors”.
In the course of the current US presidential campaign “voices are increasing in favor of preserving and developing the arms control and disarmament process”. “Just such cooperation alone would be enough to ensure the stability of our bilateral relations until there is the mutual readiness for their substantial modernization”, RIA Novosti reports quoting to the Minister.
According to Lavrov, the US plans to deploy the ABM system in Europe fail to meet the declared aims, in particular, they have nothing to do with neutralization of the Iranian threat. It is an actual process of advancing the American strategic structure in East Europe. Lavrov emphasized that the dialogue between Russia and the United States on the ABM problem “has been stalled” since the last meeting of foreign and defense ministers in October 2007. That time the American partners took into account the Russia’s concerns over deployment of the ABM system in East Europe, and expressed readiness to solve this problem on the basis of transparency. “Each new contact shows that the proposals made that time are revoked, they shrink and become flimsy”, Lavrov concluded.
The Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry suggested to the European Union and USA that all projects should be “frozen” at their current stage, whether the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo, or action on the plans for deploying elements of the US global ABM system in Eastern Europe, or NATO’s expansion eastwards. “It wouldn’t hurt us all to think and look around a bit – that’s what the pause we suggest is all about”, Lavrov said and added: “But this means that all projects must stay where they are… Because any striving to complete at any cost by a specific date the realization of what causes rigid non-acceptance by partners and threatens a collapse of the established relations will trigger a reaction. This vicious circle needs to be broken”.
Besides Minister Lavrov mentioned a problem of signing a new cooperation treaty between Russia and the European Union. In his opinion, the document should primarily focus on the security in the European continent. “The European Union agreed with us that the first chapter of the treaty should be devoted to the security”, Lavrov said and stressed that the new treaty between Russia and the European Union should provide a cooperation framework. According to the Minister this framework “should become a basis of particular agreements on particular subjects”.
The Minister also pointed out that the treaty should spotlight four directions: internal freedom of each state, economic cooperation, culture, as well as cooperation in the scientific and humanitarian spheres. The Russian Foreign Minister recalled that Russia was ready to launch these talks more than two years ago, and expressed his satisfaction with the fact that the European Union reached a consensus and specified the beginning of the talks He emphasized that the new cooperation treaty is equally important both for Russia and the European Union.