Russia and the United States failed to make progress in bilateral relations during the talks held in Moscow, Tuesday, October 12.
This was reported by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergei Ryabkov, on the sidelines of the bilateral with the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland. Ryabkov also described the exchange of views with his US colleague as “useful and open”, although the parties remained firm on their positions, which differ on several fronts. It is for this reason that consultations at this level will continue through other meetings, where the issue related to diplomatic visas will also be addressed. “I cannot say that we have made much progress,” Russia’s Interfax news agency reported, citing Ryabkov, who added: “There is a risk of further escalation of tensions.” Russia’s state-run TASS news agency revealed, on the same Tuesday, some details of the hot topics addressed during the bilateral, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow. The focus was mainly on “strategic stability,” an issue that was added to a wider set of key issues in the bilateral relations of the two countries. Among them, it is relevant to mention the news circulated since September 27 that Russia would be willing to allow the US to use its military bases in Central Asia. Ryabkov denied such claims, stressing that Moscow would never agree to such developments. “We have stressed the unacceptability of any form of American military presence in Central Asian countries,” Ryabkov said. Earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported that Russia and the United States had discussed the possibility of such a presence, including unconfirmed statements made by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the first high-level summit with his US counterpart Joe Biden. In addition, the Russian deputy foreign minister also discussed with Nuland the new trilateral security alliance AUKUS, which links Australia, the UK and the US. Ryabkov reiterated Moscow’s position that the pact poses a threat to global nuclear nonproliferation efforts because it will allow Australia to move from being a non-nuclear power to a nuclear power. Ryabkov said the country will thoroughly analyze the global safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Nuland arrived in the Russian capital on Monday, Oct. 11, to engage in strategic stability consultations with Russia.