US and Russia arms talks begin with little hope of agreement

The United States and Russia convene in Vienna on Monday to discuss their final major nuclear weapons deal in the face of rising tensions and differences over any value of arms control.

US President Donald Trump has insisted that China join New Start, negotiating the end of the US and Russia's nuclear war, saying that Beijing has been free so far and that PAS has expressed interest in developing its weapons systems.

China has not shown any signs of interest, giving Washington the latest reason for the complaint, but critics say Washington knows a useful stick to defeat its growing rival.

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, said the Trump administration, including China, was not serious about a deal.

"The only resolution I can come up with is ... the Trump administration is not intending to extend the (new) new START and show China's apathy in triangular arms control talks," he said.

Trump has already concluded several deals with Russia - over-flights and intermediate-range nuclear powers.

U.S. Ambassador Marshall Billingslam and Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabakov, however, said it is illegal to discuss the future of the new START agreement, which was agreed in 2010 and expires in February 2021.

It has little time left to renew a complicated deal, negotiate a new deal with China, especially with the November presidential election.

The current deal employs 1,550 nuclear warheads on each side.

- End of contracts? -

China's nuclear arsenal is expanding rapidly, but it is much smaller than the US and Russia.

Speaking over the weekend, when Rabkov said it was "right and logical" to accept the extension, the world's future was reduced to a complete lack of dependence on it.

Shannon Kell of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says that the deadlock between New Start and other nuclear weapons control agreements has ended the era of bilateral nuclear control agreements between Russia and the US.

According to the Institute's latest research, there are 6,375 nuclear warheads in Russia, none of them, and 5,800 in the United States.

China ranks third with 320 warheads.

Beijing's defense analyst, Song Jongping, said that 2,000 warheads would be an ideal weapon for China, whose main concern is facing the United States.

He said China would never participate in the nuclear disarmament talks between the US and Russia.

"America's proposed nuclear disarmament talks are just a trap."

Russian political analyst Fyodor Lukyanov said there was no reason to expect any progress in Vienna.

“The Trump administration has rejected all sanctions associated with previously agreed agreements,” Luciano said.

"There is nothing to suggest that this deal is an exception."

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