Putin says ready to step up dialogue with US over disarmament: paper

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Russia is ready to step up dialogue with the United States over disarmament and strategic stability, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, adding that he discussed these issues with his American counterpart Donald Trump in Japan.

“I think that reaching concrete measures in the field of disarmament would contribute to strengthen international stability. Russia has the political willingness to do it. Now it is up to the US” to decide, Putin was reported as saying in a interview with Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera.

Putin, who will meet Pope Francis and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Thursday, said he talked about these issues with president Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan last month.

“Recently, it seems that Washington has started to reflect about stepping up dialogue with Russia over a wide strategic agenda,” Putin added.

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Last Saturday and following the G20 summit in the Japanese city of Osaka, President Putin said that foreign ministers from the United States and Russia will begin talks over nuclear arms control but it may not lead to an extension of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START3).

“We have charged our respective foreign ministers with starting consultations on this subject... but we can not yet say whether this will lead to an extension of START3,” Putin told reporters.

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