US President Joe Biden expressed confidence that the United States will be able to cooperate with Russia on disarmament issues even if there are disagreements on other issues, in particular on human rights.
Speaking at a press conference at the White House, Biden said that he had asked the departments for updated information on all problematic issues with Russia, and would not hesitate to raise them in his contacts with the Russian side.
As the American leader stated, one can simultaneously cooperate with Russia on the issue of extending the START-3 treaty and criticize Moscow for the situation with Alexei Navalny.
“I believe that we can act in the interests of our two countries in the issue of the extension of START III and at the same time make it clear to Russia that we are very concerned about its behavior – whether it is the situation with Navalny, with Solar Winds or messages about the award for heads of Americans in Afghanistan, ”Biden said.
The President said this, answering the question of whether the situation around Navalny could disrupt the extension of the START-3 Treaty expiring in February.
The head of the American administration recalled that the US intelligence agencies were instructed, as the White House had already announced, to prepare a new assessment concerning Russia.
“I have asked the relevant departments to carefully inform me on all these issues, to provide me with updated information,” – said Biden.
“I will not hesitate to raise problematic issues with Russia,” he said.
Earlier Monday, Russian news agencies reported that Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev had discussed the extension of START in a telephone conversation with the new White House national security adviser, Jake Sullivan.
The details of their conversation are unknown.
Under the treaty expiring on February 5, the United States and Russia cannot have more than 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads for each side.
A spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier on Monday that Russian and American experts have begun practical work to extend the treaty.
Meanwhile, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US government is calling on Russia to “immediately and unconditionally” release Alexei Navalny.
When Psaki was asked at a press conference on Monday about the US response to the protests and Navalny’s arrest, she referred to a statement by the State Department that “strongly condemned the use of harsh tactics against demonstrators and journalists” in connection with the protests.
“I will simply repeat our call for the Russian authorities to release all those detained for exercising their universal rights and to immediately and unconditionally release Alexei Navalny,” Psaki said.
“We also call on Russia to fully cooperate with the international investigation into the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, and to reliably explain the use of chemical weapons on its territory,” added Psaki.