Jacob Heilbrunn: What is your assessment of the state of U.S.-Russia relations?
Sergei Ryabkov: The current state of our bilateral relations is probably worse than we have experienced for decades preceding this current moment. I don’t want to compare this with Cold War times because that era was different from what we have now—in some ways, more predictable; in some ways, more dangerous. From Moscow’s perspective, the Trump era is worrying because we move from one low point to another, and as the famous Polish thinker Jerzy Lec said once, “We thought we had reached the ground, and then someone knocked from beneath.” […]
One of the most troubling areas in this very dark and dull picture is of course arms control. There we see a downward spiral that is being systematically enhanced and intensified by the U.S. government. It looks like America doesn’t believe in arms control as a concept altogether. Instead, it tries to find pretexts to depart from as many arms control treaties, agreements, and arrangements that Russia is also a party to. This is very regrettable. But make no mistake: we will not pay any price higher than the one we would pay for our own security in order to save something or keep the U.S. within this system. It’s squarely and straightforwardly the choice that the American government may or, in our view, even should make—because we still think that the maintenance of these agreements ultimately serves American national interests. Läs intervjun