Treaty extension will help to improve int’l security

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a telephonic conversation on Thursday to discuss existing problems and the prospect of cooperation between the two countries.

Lavrov congratulated Blinken on assuming office and expressed his readiness for constructive dialogue on a wide range of topics, according to a press release by the Russian Foreign Ministry, Xinhua news agency reported.

The top diplomats welcomed the extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty to 2026, which will help improve the overall situation in the field of international security and strategic stability, it said.

They touched upon the issue of ensuring predictability in the field of arms control since the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Treaty on Open Skies have collapsed.

Lavrov and Blinken discussed assistance to a peaceful settlement in Syria and Libya, as well as the situation in Ukraine.

Lavrov reminded Blinken of Moscow’s earlier proposals on the adoption of joint Russian-US statements on the inadmissibility of a nuclear war and on non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.

As for the case with Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Lavrov gave detailed explanations about the need to respect Russia’s legislation and judicial system.

He in turn asked Blinken to ensure the transparency of judicial procedures when US authorities deal with protesters in connection with the results of the recent presidential election.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Lavrov confirmed that the Russian side is open for joint work to normalize the entire range of bilateral relations, including the re-functioning of Russian and US diplomatic missions, while Blinken showed readiness to organize dialogue of experts on these issues.

Both spoke in favor of establishing cooperation in the fight against coronavirus infections, including partnership in the development and improvement of vaccines.

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