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Putin proposes one-year extension of New START treaty

Putin proposes one-year extension of New START treaty”

Saying the expiration of the New START nuclear arms agreement with the U.S.in February would be "very sad", Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed extending it for a year without conditions.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Putin Friday that "intensive" consultations on the treaty are underway.

Following America's unilateral withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty previous year, the 2010 New START agreement remains the only active arms-control deal between the two nuclear powers. He also lauded the New START treaty, for having successfully put a bridle on the arms race for about a decade.

Last month Billingslea threatened Russia that the Trump administration could increase the cost of extending New START - by "including a lot of the other bad behavior that the Russians are engaged in around the world" in the nuclear negotiations - if Moscow does not commit to meeting USA demands before the American presidential election. O'Brien said he instead hoped that Moscow would take Washington's earlier offer to extend the treaty for one year, but on the condition of freezing the number of nuclear warheads. Moscow has described that idea as unfeasible, pointing at Beijing's refusal to negotiate any deal that would reduce its much smaller nuclear arsenal.

OBrien said the USA has made a relatively straightforward proposal that we extend New START for a year and that the Russians cap their nuclear warhead number for a year, but added that negotiating with Russia is never easy.

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"The US position in favour of freezing has always been known to us, it is unacceptable to us". "I have a proposal: to extend the existing Treaty without any conditions for at least a year in order to be able to conduct meaningful negotiations on all parameters.so as not to leave our countries and all states of the world without such a fundamental document". "Yet, we are open to discussing this issue as well", Putin said on Friday. He emphasized that Russian Federation is ready to discuss the new weapons it has deployed in future arms talks with the United States. They're not interested. We were prepared to go forward with a U.S. -Russia arms control deal. He expressed hope that Moscow will change its mind and take the USA offer "before a costly arms race ensues". "This would have been a win for both sides, and we believed the Russians were willing to accept this proposal when I met with my counterpart in Geneva", O'Brien said in a statement released on the White House's National Security Council Twitter feed.

AgenciesLavrov's pessimistic view contrasted with statements from USA diplomats, who said that Moscow and Washington were close to a deal.

Lavrov's pessimistic view contrasted with recent statements from US diplomats, who said that Moscow and Washington were close to a deal.

In the current conditions extending the treaty for a year would be "ideal", he said.

Were in the 11th hour now, and Wednesday urge President Trump to take yes for an answer, Kimball said, adding that he believes this would draw broad bipartisan support in the U.S.



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