MOSCOW, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Moscow understands Beijing's position of not joining Russia-U.S. negotiations on nuclear disarmament, Vladimir Yermakov, director of the Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said Wednesday.
"Each state has its own approach to arms control. Of course, China has the right to take the position it considers necessary. It is normal for a country to protect its national interests in the first place," Yermakov was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency as saying.
It is unrealistic to expect China to join U.S.-Russia negotiations on nuclear arms reduction, given the huge gap between Chinese and U.S. nuclear arsenals in terms of quantity and sophistication, Fu Cong, director-general of the arms control department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said earlier in the day.
China's refusal to join the so-called trilateral negotiations doesn't mean that it is shying away from international nuclear disarmament efforts, Fu said, adding China has been a strong advocate for nuclear disarmament at the United Nations and the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.