News ID: 279692
Published: 0302 GMT January 20, 2021

Russia says better ties with US up to Biden

Russia says better ties with US up to Biden
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

The Kremlin said on Wednesday that any improvement in Moscow's tense relationship with Washington would depend on Joe Biden when he enters the White House.

"Russia will live as it has lived for hundreds of years: Seeking good relations with the United States," the Kremlin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, AFP reported.

Whether or not Washington works toward achieving the same goal will depend on Biden and his team, Peskov added.

Despite disagreements on a number of issues, the countries will be in a race to extend a landmark nuclear weapons accord shortly after Biden is sworn in.

The 2010 New START treaty – the last remaining nuclear pact between the countries – limits both sides to 1,500 nuclear warheads each and is set to expire on February 5.

Peskov said on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin has "consistently" advocated for the preservation of the treaty and that it was now up to Washington to preserve the pact.

Negotiations under the administration of Outgoing US President Donald Trump stalled as Washington pushed for China to join the agreement even though Beijing said it had no intention of joining.

Biden's aides have indicated that the incoming US leader will work toward extending the treaty, but he also vowed to take a tougher stance on Russia during the campaign.

Peskov said on Wednesday that the change in the US presidency will make no difference to Russia and that the Kremlin was not making any preparations for Biden's inauguration.

On Tuesday, Trump imposed new sanctions on a Russian pipe-laying vessel involved in the Moscow-led Nord Stream 2 multinational gas pipeline project on his last day in office.

The US Treasury Department announced the imposition of the sanctions on the ship ‘Fortuna’ and its owner, KVT-RUS, under the so-called Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

The move – which is also in line with the stated policy of the incoming administration of Biden – is meant to raise additional pressure on the massive project to carry Russian natural gas to energy-deficient Europe in the hopes of selling American Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to its European allies.

Washington has so far imposed several rounds of sanctions against the project over false claims that it could undermine European energy security. It is commonly known, however, that the real aim of the US pressure is to force European countries to purchase from American LNG.

Nord Stream 2 is an offshore gas pipeline designed to double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream undersea gas pipeline linking Russia and Germany and to supply cheaper energy to Central European customers. Under the agreement between Moscow and Berlin, it was to be launched in mid-2020, but the project has been delayed due to hurdles imposed by Washington.

Reacting to announcement during a Tuesday press briefing, Peskov emphasized that the project was under “unlawful” American pressure and that Moscow was closely monitoring developments in order to ensure the pipeline’s completion.




Resource: AFP
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