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Russia emphasized the urgent necessity for comprehensive security discussions with the United States, stressing that any dialogue must encompass a wide range of issues, including Ukraine. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov underscored that isolating specific topics from the broader spectrum of accumulated challenges is not feasible nor desirable.

“We cannot extract individual segments from the complex array of issues that have accumulated, and we will not do so,” Peskov stated in response to whether Moscow was prepared to engage with Washington on nuclear risks. “Therefore, we are open to dialogue, but it must be a broad, comprehensive dialogue that addresses all aspects, including the current dimension concerning the conflict in Ukraine and the direct involvement of the USA in this conflict,” he added during a briefing with journalists.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual press conference in Moscow, Russia December 14, 2023

The United States has refuted Russia’s assertion that its provision of arms to Ukraine constitutes direct involvement in a conflict aimed at delivering a decisive “strategic defeat” to Moscow. According to the U.S., negotiations regarding the war should solely involve Ukraine.

Peskov reiterated that Russia’s stance, although familiar, is evolving in response to an expanding agenda of topics requiring discussion with the United States. “In general, this dialogue is greatly needed,” he emphasized. “The accumulation of problems, particularly those related to global security architecture, underscores this necessity.”

Washington’s perspective contrasts with Moscow’s, viewing President Putin as exacerbating security concerns in the third year of the Ukraine conflict. This week, Putin’s activities included a visit to nuclear-armed North Korea, the signing of a mutual defense agreement with leader Kim Jong Un, and hinting at potential Russian arms supplies to North Korea in response to Western arms support for Ukraine.

Furthermore, Putin indicated a potential review of Russia’s nuclear weapons doctrine, underscoring the precarious state of arms control. The last remaining treaty limiting strategic nuclear warhead deployment by Russia and the United States is set to expire in 2026.

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