Moscow (Reuters) – The era in which the United States and Russia decided the world’s most important question is in the past, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, saying China and Germany were now heading for superpower status.
Addressing the Valdai Discussion Club meeting, Putin suggested that the role of the United States has diminished, along with that of Britain and France, while Beijing and Berlin – in terms of political and economic weight – are heading towards superpower status.
If Washington is not ready to discuss global issues with Moscow, Russia is ready to have discussions with other countries, said Putin, who spoke via video link.
He said Washington could no longer claim exceptionalism and question why they wanted it.
In the run-up to the US presidential election on November 3, Putin said he hoped the new administration would be ready for dialogue on security and control of nuclear weapons.
Washington last week rejected Russia’s proposal for an unconditional one-year extension of the latest agreement limiting the deployment of US and Russian strategic nuclear weapons, calling the suggestion “not the beginning.”
The New START Treaty (Strategic Arms Reduction Agreement), signed in 2010 will expire in February. This limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads Russia and the United States can deploy and the missiles and bombers that carry them.
Despite their differences, Moscow and Washington appear increasingly close to a deal on New START.
Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Andrew Osborn; Written by Alexander Marrow; Edited by Andrew Osborn