President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are serious about maintaining peace and will never allow their two militaries to engage in war, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says in an interview published Friday.
"Speaking about the risk of a military confrontation, I feel absolutely confident in assuming that the militaries will not allow this," Lavrov told Dmitry Kiselev of Rossiya Segodnya, a news agency owned by the Russian government.
"And of course neither will President Putin or President Trump. They are leaders, after all, elected by their people and responsible for their peace."
He said U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford “understand the unacceptability of any actions which could provoke a direct military clash” between the two superpowers.
"It's so obvious, that the military officials can't but understand it, and they understand it better than many others," Lavrov said.
"When the politicians try to goad, if you excuse my blunt words, the leaders of their countries, insisting on more and more confrontation, including outright confrontation, they are not acting responsibly.”
Lavrov added that Russia officials "dearly hope" a proposed meeting between Trump and North Korea strongman Kim Jong Un will "begin the process of de-escalation."
"We all want the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but it can be achieved in different ways. What we now hear about the discussions within the U.S. administration reveals that there are many people there who want to do it quickly," he said.
"I don't think that it can be done quickly though, considering what happened and what's currently going on with the Iranian nuclear program … In May, [Trump] must once again certify that the sanctions suspension will continue, and if he doesn't, the deal will be scrapped.
"So people in Pyongyang are probably watching this development and projecting it on themselves … North Korea would want impervious security guarantees …"
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