Russia and the USA have recently made another step in their relations, but they did not manage to reach an agreement. This is the result of the Russian-US talks in Moscow. The countries’ foreign and defense ministers – Sergei Lavrov, Anatoly Serdyukov, Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates – tried to concur on major international issues. However, ABM, START and Kosovo questions can be considered unresolved.
Nevertheless, the participants commented on the meeting enthusiastically. According to Sergei Lavrov, the major positive result of the talks was “steady progress”, especially in the struggle against nuclear terrorism and non-proliferation of WMDs. Robert Gates suggested the US and Russia should come to agreement on missile defense before George Bush left the office in January 2009.
Sergei Lavrov confirmed that the US made proposals aimed at allaying some of Russia’s concerns about the ABM third positioning region in Europe. “We have already discussed the proposals made in October. Now it is March, a more optimistic month. It is important that this time we acquired proposals on the day of our discussion. I think it will enable us to progress successfully,” said the head of the Russian diplomacy.
Another “2+2” meeting was held in Moscow in October 2007, but the American side deferred their decision. This time the Pentagon chief promised Russia to supply written proposals for the missile defense issue by Tuesday evening.
Anatoly Serdyukov also informed reporters about new US proposals. “We’ve heard various proposals and hope to see them documented.”
Still the two Russian ministers refused to amplify. Sergei Lavrov only said that “the corresponding proposals on all the issues discussed during the strategic dialogue will be reported on to the president.” According to the official, “the meeting confirmed the readiness of the American and Russian parties to stay on the course taken by Putin and Bush.”
The course lies in “an ultimate build-up of practical partnership on joint initiatives and agreements and in the continuation of professional activity to settle the preserved differences on various issues.” He confessed that “the USA had admitted their will to create the third positioning region in Europe.”
Translated by Julia Bulygina