DAVOS, Switzerland – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that relations between the United States and Russia are not doomed to Cold War rivalry. The statement came at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
“It is not the case that we are doomed to a Cold War rivalry,” Pompeo told the world’s business elite in Davos, Switzerland, speaking by video after the ongoing US government shutdown triggered his trip’s cancellation.
The Secretary of State said that the US and Russia should engage in a direct dialogue to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
“These two nations are the largest possessors of nuclear capability in the world. Russia is a formidable power in that we respect and we understand that. We need to ensure that there are conversations taking place so that we can prevent both proliferation and the rest that comes with the possession of those nuclear weapons,” Pompeo said.
Despite the friendly rhetoric, Pompeo still went on the offensive against Russia.
“We applaud the EU for approving the first sanctions designation under its new chemical weapons sanctions authority, and stand firmly united in the conviction that chemical weapons use will not be tolerated,” Pompeo said via Twitter.
We applaud the #EU for approving the first sanctions designation under its new chemical weapons sanctions authority, and stand firmly united in the conviction that chemical weapons use will not be tolerated. https://t.co/v1eZTRkF04
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 22, 2019
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a Serbian news conference that Russia did not want a new arms race and was ready for a serious dialogue with the United States on the strategic agenda. Putin noted that Moscow sent to Washington in December some proposals on the maintenance of the INF Treaty.
On January 16, the US Deputy Secretary of State stated that the US will suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty on February 2 if Russia does not provide evidence that it is complying with the agreement.
The INF Treaty, signed by Washington and Moscow in 1987, has no expiration date and prohibits parties from having ballistic missiles or cruise missiles ranging between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.