The Kremlin warned that time is fast running out to negotiate a fresh strategic nuclear weapons deal with the U.S. before the current New START treaty expires.
“There is no progress, there are no signals from the Americans about their readiness to start discussions” on replacing or extending the treaty, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters Tuesday on a conference call. “If this silence continues, then in fact we’ll enter a period when it won’t be possible to reach agreement” before the treaty expires in February 2021, he said.
Russia has said previously that it’s ready to discuss a five-year extension to the treaty that limits the nuclear arsenals of both countries. U.S. officials have said the agreement may not be worth extending if China isn’t included. It’s the last remaining strategic arms accord between Russia and the U.S. after President Donald Trump withdrew earlier this year from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty. Putin complained last month that the U.S. withdrawal had weakened international strategic stability.