Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed disappointment over President Trump’s decision to cancel their planned meeting at the G20 in Argentina, saying the two countries have much to talk about on issues including nuclear strategic stability in light of the US talk of pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
Russia is ready for the normalization of dialogue with the United States as soon as its American colleagues are prepared to do so, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.
“To be honest, I don’t even know if he was there or not, because I didn’t see the entire US delegation,” Lavrov added.
“Part of the [US’s] actions east of the Euphrates and in other areas of Syria, where they have their special forces and advisors, is playing the ‘Kurdish card’. This is a very dangerous game, given the urgency of the Kurdish issue in a number of countries in the region — not only in Syria, but also Iraq, Iran, and of course Turkey,” Lavrov explained.
President Donald Trump unexpectedly cancelled his meeting with President Putin at the G20 in Buenos Aires on Thursday after being briefed on the Kerch Strait incident. Trump tweeted that he would put off a high-level meeting with his Russian counterpart until the “situation” surrounding the detained Ukrainian ships and sailors was “resolved.” Putin expressed disappointment over Trump’s decision, saying there were important “issues of strategic stability” to be discussed “in light of the president’s announcement that he plans to pull the US out of the INF Treaty.”
Trump announced plans to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in October, accusing Russia of violating its provisions. The arms control treaty, signed by the US and the USSR in 1987, prohibited the two countries from developing and fielding ground-based nuclear ballistic and cruise missiles in the 500-5,500 km range. Russia has denied claims that it has violated the treaty, and pointed to obvious violations of the treaty by Washington, including the deployment of dual-use missile defence shield components in Romania and Poland. Along with Moscow, Washington’s European allies have expressed concerns over US intentions to scrap the INF.