Russia has rejected US attempts to link nuclear arms reduction talks to Iranian sanctions, a Russian Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday.
“We believe that such a linkage is totally baseless. No trading is acceptable on these two issues, which are so different in substance and in format,” the unnamed official told the Interfax news agency.
On July 6, US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a framework document in Moscow on reductions and limitations of nuclear weapons. The document stated that both sides intended to cut nuclear warheads by 1,500 to 1,675 “within seven years to come.”
Last week, President Obama’s nuclear advisor said that a US-Russian nuclear deal could persuade Russia to be more cooperative on Iran. “There are no reasons to link these issues or count on Russia being more cooperative in toughening sanctions against Iran if there is progress in talks with the United States on further cuts in strategic offensive weapons,” the source said.
Another Moscow source, however, told Reuters that that remarks did not compromise the US-Russian agreements over nuclear reduction.“It was nothing more than an exchange of remarks over a specific suggestion,” the source said.