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Russia hopes for compromise on security with USA - PM's press secretary

Moscow, 21 March: Moscow has no doubt that a compromise with Washington is possible on strategic security issues, including the problem of nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and US missile defence elements in Eastern Europe, the Russian prime minister's secretary Dmitriy Peskov has said.

"We have no doubt that a compromise is possible which would take into account the two sides' concerns and outline joint steps to resolve these problems," Peskov said in an interview with the Voice of Russia radio's English service.

Peskov said Russia and the USA bear great responsibility for strategic security on the global scale. "This responsibility imposes obligations on both countries, including the obligation to be politically wise," Peskov said.

"We must show political wisdom to be able to cooperate to overcome new challenges and threats, including the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation, because nonproliferation can only be achieved by joint efforts. One country will never be able to achieve this goal," Peskov said.

He believes this concerns the whole system of missile defence in Central Europe. "We are still waiting for an answer from the American side, but unfortunately, have received nothing yet," Peskov said.

The Russian side many times put forward its proposals on cooperation against a hypothetical missile threat, not from Iran but a hypothetical one.

"We all know that technically Iran does not have, nor will it have in the foreseeable future, missiles which could pose threat to Central Europe," Peskov said. "But we are speaking about a potential possibility to fight with such threats. We know that some countries in Central Europe ask themselves whether the missile shield will increase security and stability in Europe."

Peskov said Russia is ready to cooperate with these countries and also the USA to ensure security for these countries. "We hope for the best, for cooperation with our partners in Washington," Peskov said.

Speaking about the economic aspect of Russian-US relations, Peskov said they must be cleared of the relics of the cold war.

"I don't think we need to reset them (Russian-US economic ties) on the whole. Rather, this concerns some relics from the past, such as the Jackson-Vanik amendment and other restrictions. These relics are really absurd," Peskov said. (passage omitted)

"We must use our very positive experience of our cooperation in mutual investment, trade and economy and try to develop this cooperation and raise it to a level which would befit the two countries' great potential," Peskov said.