Russia rejects US terms, new START sees 'minimal' opportunity to extend the nuclear deal

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted’ on Monday as saying that Russia sees little chance of extending the New Start agreement with the United States. The Final Nuclear Weapons Treaty - because it does not accept Washington's terms.

Russia rejects US terms, new START sees 'minimal' opportunity to extend the nuclear deal

He told a Russian newspaper after US Special Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingsley that Moscow would have to accept a joint agreement with Washington to extend the agreement before the US presidential election in November.

"I suspect that after President Trump's re-election victory, if Russia does not accept our offer, the cost of admission, as we will say in the United States, increases."

Ryabkov said that this position has created an ultimatum and has reduced the chances of reaching any kind of agreement to extend this agreement, which expires in February next year.

"We can't talk like that," Tass News Agency quoted Ryabkov as saying. Another news agency, the RIA, quoted him as saying that the chances of extending the agreement were slim.

Under a new START agreement signed in 2010, Russia and the United States limit the number of strategic nuclear warheads they can deploy.

Failure to do so would undermine the fundamental pillar of nuclear balance between the two countries, and would add another element of tension to their already friendly relations.

Disagreement on China

Billingsley said the US was looking for a framework political agreement on the expansion of the New Start. He told Commerce that the framework, which does not need to be ratified’ by the US Senate would stipulate that the successor to the new start should be multilateral and that China should be included.

Ryabkov called it a "deliberate distortion of our position." He said China's decision to take part in the talks was up to Beijing in particular.

TASS quoted Ryabkov as saying, "We have not taken any steps to bring China into these talks, nor do they intend to, which we have told our American counterparts on several occasions ۔”

The new START is the successor to the original Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) signed in 1991 between the then Soviet Union and the United States.

In the 1980s, arms deals were struck’ between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his successor, George HW. In the 1990s, Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin emphasized the growing trust between the superpowers and their role in ending the Cold War.


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