(Reuters) - Russia is discussing with its closest partners the issue of deploying long-range weapons, TASS state news agency reported on Wednesday, citing Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

Ryabkov told TASS in an interview that Moscow has "closest partners" in both Asia and Latin America with whom "the security situation is being worked out substantively, not only at the level of exchange of assessments".

"There is nothing new in this," TASS cited Ryabkov as saying. "The issue (placement of long-range weapons) is being raised ... with a number of our partners."

Ryabkov would not name any countries and he said that the discussions take place "with full respect" for obligations that the countries may bear under international treaties, including those to which Russia is not a party.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin arrived in North Korea on Wednesday, with the United States and its allies saying they fear Moscow could provide aid for Pyongyang's missile and nuclear programmes, which are banned by U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Ryabkov also told TASS that diplomatic contacts between Russia and the United States have been reduced to an absolute minimum, to dealing chiefly with embassy, visa and humanitarian issues, and that they may worsen even further.

"Our contacts with the Americans are reduced to an absolute minimum, both in terms of quantity and content," TASS cited Ryabkov as saying.

"As for political subjects ... there is nothing except episodic contacts on the sidelines of international organisations."

Ryabkov has also said that diplomatic relations may worsen even further in response to the U.S. moves to confiscated Russian assets.

"Lowering the level of diplomatic relations is ... in the arsenal of means," Ryabkov said.

In response to Russia's war in Ukraine, the United States and its allies prohibited transactions with Russia's central bank and finance ministry and blocked about $300 billion of sovereign Russian assets in the West, most of which are in European not American financial institutions.

Last week, the Group of Seven rich democracies agreed to use proceeds from frozen Russian assets to give Ukraine $50 billion in loans.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Michael Perry)