- Associated Press - Thursday, October 19, 2017

MOSCOW (AP) - The Latest on President Vladimir Putin at a foreign policy forum (all times local):

7 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says that a global ban on nuclear weapons can be achieved in the future.

Putin said Thursday at the Valdai forum for international policy experts that total nuclear disarmament is a possibility that Russia would welcome. He said Russia would “want it and will be striving to achieve that.”

Putin noted that new precision weapons now under development could be just as devastating as nuclear weapons. He said Russia is also working on such weapons.

The comments contrast with earlier statements by Putin and other Russian leaders, who have underlined that a global ban on nuclear weapons is unrealistic.


6:45 p.m.

President Vladimir Putin says Russia will adhere to a landmark Cold War-era arms control treaty for as long as the U.S. sticks to it.

At the Valdai forum of international policy experts in Sochi, Putin said Russia has stuck to its obligations under the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty and will continue to do so. U.S. officials have accused Russia of developing missiles in violation of the treaty, a charge Russia has denied.

Putin said the 1987 accord was tilted in the U.S.’s favor, effectively amounting to “unilateral disarmament,” as it failed to ban missiles carried by navy ships and aircraft that the U.S. had and the Soviet Union didn’t.

He said Russia has since developed such cruise missiles for its navy and air force.


6 p.m.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has warned against driving North Korea into a corner.

While condemning Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, Putin said the standoff should be settled through dialogue, without “cornering North Korea, threatening to use force or going down to outright boorishness and swearing.”

Speaking Thursday to international policy experts at the Valdai forum in Sochi, Putin criticized the U.S. and its allies for missing a chance to build a safer and more stable world after the Cold War.

The Russian leader also noted that the U.S. has been slow to dismantle its chemical weapons arsenals in line with an international treaty, while Russia last month wrapped up the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpiles.

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