Kremlin: Too early to react on nuclear cuts offer

MOSCOW — The Kremlin said yesterday it was too early to comment on a proposal by US President-elect Donald Trump to do a deal with Moscow on nuclear arms cuts in exchange for Washington lifting sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.

Trump told The Times of London in an interview published online on Sunday he would propose offering to end sanctions imposed on Russia for its annexation of Crimea in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in a conference call with reporters, said Russia would wait until Trump took office before commenting on any proposed deals.

There were currently no talks on possible nuclear arms cuts with the United States and Russia did not intend to raise the sanctions issue itself in negotiations with foreign countries, said Peskov.

He also dismissed media reports of a planned meeting between Putin and Trump.

“All these statements about preliminary agreements about a meeting do not correspond to reality,” said Peskov.

“Right now there are no agreements, drafts or any preparations underway for a meeting because the president and Mr Trump have not discussed this in any way.”

Asked if the Kremlin agreed with Trump’s view that Nato is obsolete, something the US president-elect repeated in the same interview, Peskov pointed out that the Kremlin had long been making the same point.

In Brussels, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was sure Britain and the United States could conclude a free trade deal that was in their mutual interests after Trump said he was keen for one.

“It’s very good news that the United States wants to do a good free trade deal with us and wants to do it very fast and it’s great to hear that from President-elect Donald Trump,” Johnson told reporters on arrival for a meeting of EU foreign ministers.

“Clearly it’ll have to be a deal that’s very much in the interests of both sides but I’ve no doubt that it will be.”

Trump had welcomed Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, a move which could give it the opportunity to conclude bilateral trade agreements.
— Reuters

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