Senior Russian diplomat says US looking for excuse to get rid of New START

Ryabkov

MOSCOW, November 8. /TASS/: The United States is deliberately dragging its feet and is looking for an excuse to get rid of the New START Treaty, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Friday.

"We are very much concerned about the prospects for the New START Treaty, which will expire in February 2021," he stressed speaking at the Moscow Nonproliferation Conference. "This is the last of the bilateral tools in the sphere of control over our countries’ strategic offensive arms."

He recalled that Moscow had repeatedly expressed its willingness to tackle the issues related to extending that deal in earnest. "Under the existing circumstances, the extension of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is apparently the only reasonable step, which would make it possible to prevent the ultimate deterioration of the strategic stability situation," Ryabkov stressed. "Washington blatantly ignores our concerns. All that looks as if the United States is dragging its feet, if not downright, looking for an excuse to get rid of the New START right after tearing up the INF Treaty."

The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the New START Treaty) was signed in 2010 and entered into force on February 5, 2011. It will remain effective until 2021 unless superseded by a subsequent agreement. The treaty can be extended for a period of no more than five years (that is, until 2026) upon the parties’ mutual consent.

Possibility of including Russia’s new armaments in New START Treaty

It is impossible to include new Russian armaments in the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) without reviewing the text of this deal, the deputy foreign minister stated.

"The US has made some remarks that the Treaty should also cover new Russian armaments, which Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly mentioned. This is impossible without unpacking and significantly reviewing the deal’s text," Ryabkov noted.

The Americans have made statements in public insisting that the future talks should involve more participants, the high-ranking diplomat recalled.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in his last year’s annual address to the Federal Assembly that Russia was developing advanced weapon systems. This year, he continued this theme, saying that the serial production of Avangard missile systems had been launched in Russia. The Russian leader also reported on the successful pace of trials of the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile and the Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile with an unlimited range capability. According to the Russian leader, the rearmament and the trials of new weapons are proceeding "rhythmically, without delays and in accordance with the plan."

The 4th Moscow Nonproliferation Conference is being held on November 7-9. About 300 delegates from 40 countries take part in it.

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