White House plans wide ranging new nuclear arms talks with Russia

2020/05/1590149210.jpg
Read: 804     16:06     22 May 2020    

The United States plans to keep a nuclear treaty from expiring while it pursues a wider arms deal with both Russia and China, according to US officials familiar with the matter.


The officials said that, under the plan, the US would temporarily extend the New Start Treaty while seeking a new three-way arms control deal with Russia and China.

The New Start treaty is the only remaining agreement constraining the US and Russian nuclear arsenals. It imposes limits on the number of US and Russian long-range nuclear warheads and launchers. Russia has offered to extend the treaty, which expires in February, but US President Donald Trump is holding out in hopes of negotiating a three-way agreement with Russia and China.

“A six-month extension to buy yourself some time to negotiate something new with the Russians, and call on the Chinese to join, inherently isn’t bad.  It might be a way to square the circle, if you can also be sure that the next administration has the leeway to extend more”, said Jon Wolfsthal, who oversaw nuclear policy on the National Security Council in the administration of former US president Barrack Obama.

Last year, the US withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, accusing Russia of repeated violations. The INF treaty banned production, testing and deployment of intermediate-range land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.

“Russia has violated nearly every single agreement we’ve ever had with them, and the Chinese stand in violation of a number of agreements that they’ve also signed”, said Marshall Billingslea, Trump’s special envoy for arms control.

In December, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin offered to immediately extend New Start. Moscow has described the goal of a three-way deal as unrealistic as China has been reluctant to discuss any deal that would reduce its nuclear arsenal.

China is estimated to have about 300 nuclear weapons. It has various international weapons agreements, but none limiting nuclear weapons.

The US on Thursday accused Russia of violations and said it would withdraw from the 18-year-old Open Skies treaty, which allows unarmed surveillance flights over each other’s member countries. Washington cited a years-long effort by Moscow to violate the terms, such as by restricting US overflights of Georgia and the Russian military enclave in Kaliningrad on the Baltic coast.

New Europe



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News Line

White House plans wide ranging new nuclear arms talks with Russia

2020/05/1590149210.jpg
Read: 805     16:06     22 May 2020    

The United States plans to keep a nuclear treaty from expiring while it pursues a wider arms deal with both Russia and China, according to US officials familiar with the matter.


The officials said that, under the plan, the US would temporarily extend the New Start Treaty while seeking a new three-way arms control deal with Russia and China.

The New Start treaty is the only remaining agreement constraining the US and Russian nuclear arsenals. It imposes limits on the number of US and Russian long-range nuclear warheads and launchers. Russia has offered to extend the treaty, which expires in February, but US President Donald Trump is holding out in hopes of negotiating a three-way agreement with Russia and China.

“A six-month extension to buy yourself some time to negotiate something new with the Russians, and call on the Chinese to join, inherently isn’t bad.  It might be a way to square the circle, if you can also be sure that the next administration has the leeway to extend more”, said Jon Wolfsthal, who oversaw nuclear policy on the National Security Council in the administration of former US president Barrack Obama.

Last year, the US withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, accusing Russia of repeated violations. The INF treaty banned production, testing and deployment of intermediate-range land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.

“Russia has violated nearly every single agreement we’ve ever had with them, and the Chinese stand in violation of a number of agreements that they’ve also signed”, said Marshall Billingslea, Trump’s special envoy for arms control.

In December, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin offered to immediately extend New Start. Moscow has described the goal of a three-way deal as unrealistic as China has been reluctant to discuss any deal that would reduce its nuclear arsenal.

China is estimated to have about 300 nuclear weapons. It has various international weapons agreements, but none limiting nuclear weapons.

The US on Thursday accused Russia of violations and said it would withdraw from the 18-year-old Open Skies treaty, which allows unarmed surveillance flights over each other’s member countries. Washington cited a years-long effort by Moscow to violate the terms, such as by restricting US overflights of Georgia and the Russian military enclave in Kaliningrad on the Baltic coast.

New Europe



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