Russian Defense Ministry says it’s ready to boost security cooperation with US
Russia’s Defense Ministry on Tuesday said it stands ready to step up cooperation with the U.S. on international security matters outlined by President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at their Monday summit in Helsinki.
“The Russian Defense Ministry is ready for practical implementation of the agreements in the sphere of international security reached by Russian and U.S. Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, at their Monday’s summit in Helsinki,” Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the ministry said, according to the Russian state-run news agency TASS.
Konashenkov said that Russia was ready to enter into discussions about extending the New START Treaty, which places caps on deployable nuclear weapons.
As of now, that treaty is set to expire in 2021.
He also said the Russians were willing to boost cooperation with the U.S. in Syria, where the two countries have backed opposing sides in an ongoing seven-year civil war.
“The Russian Defense Ministry is ready to enliven contact with the U.S. colleagues, between our General Staffs and via other communication channels, to discuss extension of the START Treaty, cooperation in Syria, and other topical issues of military security,” he stressed.
The announcement came a day after Trump and Putin held talks in Helsinki and outlined broad plans for increased cooperation between their two countries.
But the meeting between the two leaders stirred controversy after Trump challenged the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Moscow meddled in the 2016 presidential election during a joint press conference with Putin.
The remarks drew criticism from across the partisan spectrum in the U.S., with both Democrats and Republicans warning that Russia remained an adversary of Washington and criticizing Trump for appearing to take Putin’s word over that of American intelligence officials.