The president also noted that the U.S. is very concerned about the Navalny situation.
US President Joe Biden expressed confidence that the United States will be able to cooperate with Russia on disarmament issues even if there are disagreements on other issues, in particular, human rights.
Speaking at a White House press conference, Biden said he had asked his departments for updates on all problematic issues with Russia and would not hesitate to raise them in his contacts with the Russian side.
As the American leader said, it is possible to simultaneously cooperate with Russia on the extension of the START-3 treaty and criticize Moscow for the situation with Alexei Navalny.
“I think we can act in the interests of our two countries on the extension of START-3 and at the same time make clear to Russia that we are very concerned about its behavior, whether it’s the Navalny situation, the Solar Winds situation, or the reports about the bounty on American heads in Afghanistan,” Biden said.
Biden said this when asked if the Navalny situation could derail the extension of the START III Treaty, which expired in February.
The head of the U.S. administration recalled that the U.S. intelligence agencies had been instructed, as the White House had previously announced, to prepare a new assessment concerning Russia.
“I have asked the relevant agencies to brief me thoroughly on all these issues, to provide me with updated information,” Biden said.
“I will not hesitate to raise problematic issues with Russia,” he said.
Earlier Monday, Russian news agencies reported that Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev discussed the START-3 treaty extension in a telephone conversation with new White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan.
The details of their conversation are unknown.
Under the treaty, which expires Feb. 5, the U.S. and Russia cannot have more than 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads for each side.
A Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said earlier Monday that Russian and U.S. experts have begun practical work on extending the treaty.
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the U.S. government calls on Russia to “immediately and unconditionally” release Alexei Navalny.
When asked at a press conference Monday about the U.S. reaction to the protests and Navalny’s arrest, Psaki referred to a State Department statement that “strongly condemned the use of harsh tactics against protesters and journalists” in connection with the protests.
“I will simply reiterate our call to the Russian authorities to release all detainees for exercising their universal rights and to immediately and unconditionally release Alexei Navalny,” Psaki said.
“We also call on Russia to fully cooperate with the international community’s investigation into Alexei Navalny’s poisoning and to credibly explain the use of chemical weapons on its territory,” Psaki added.