New START and the Future of US-Russia Arms Control
Billingsley: US reached agreement in principle with Russia on START III
Moscow did not agree with this, citing the unacceptability of the proposals of the American side.
A senior American diplomat believes that the United States has achieved «principle agreement» with Russia on the extension of the START-3 treaty – the last major nuclear arms agreement between the two countries, which expires in February.
However, Russia did not agree with this assessment..
The administration of President Donald Trump insisted that China become a party to the agreement on the reduction of nuclear weapons, but three weeks before the US elections made it clear that it was generally ready to keep the treaty in its current form..
«In fact, we are ready to extend the START-3 treaty for some time, provided that they, in turn, agree to the limitation – freezing – your nuclear arsenal», – said the head of the American delegation to the talks Marshall Billingsley.
«We believe there is a principled agreement reached at the highest level of our two governments», – he said, speaking at the Foundation «Heritage» (Heritage Foundation).
Billingsley interrupted his trip to Asia last week to meet with his Russian counterpart in Helsinki, saying he felt a compromise..
He said that Russia has not yet finally approved «gentlemen’s agreement» and must agree on the details.
«We are ready to conclude this agreement. In fact, we are ready to do it tomorrow. But Moscow must also show political will for this.», – he said.
Billingsley noted that the US continues to insist on the participation of China, whose nuclear program is growing rapidly.
«Everything we negotiate with the Russians should be formalized and formatted in such a way as to allow us to extend this agreement to China when they finally sit down at the negotiating table.», – said Billingsley.
However, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that the US proposal was unacceptable for Moscow..
«The US position in favor of freezing has long been known to us, it is unacceptable to us. Not because we are against freezing, but because we need to deal with the problems of strategic stability in a complex: we need to deal with carriers, we need to deal with space, we need to deal with missile defense – the system that the United States is creating, it is necessary to deal with their new carriers of strategic range in conventional equipment», – Ryabkov said «RIA News».
According to Ryabkov, the United States will not receive any agreement on strategic offensive arms from Russia, «timed to their elections».
«If the Americans need to report to their superiors something about which they allegedly agreed with the Russian Federation before their elections, then they will not receive it.», – Ryabkov said.
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