Russia ‘remains open’ for arms talks with US

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin says Russia wants friendly relations with the United States and remains open for arms control talks with Washington.

Putin, speaking in Wednesday’s state-of-the-nation address, said Moscow hopes to mend ties with the U.S., adding that “we don’t want confrontation, particularly with such a global power as the U.S.”

At the same time, he criticized what he described as “destructive” U.S. policy of targeting Russia with sanctions.

He added that Russia will be ready to engage in nuclear arms control talks with the U.S. when Washington is ready for that, but said Moscow will not initiate such negotiations.

Putin urged U.S. officials to take into account the “range and speed of our prospective weapons” before making decisions that will threaten Russia.