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Russia Says Ready To Continue Dialogue With U.S. On Arms Control

Russia hopes to continue dialogue with the U.S. on the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

“We hope that contact with the American side will continue in any case,” Peskov told a daily briefing.

He said Russia would like to continue dialogue and negotiations with the U.S. on a range of security and arms control issues, in spite the recent refusal from Washington to Russia’s proposal to extend the New START.

“We would still prefer to hear the readiness of our American partners to extend this document,” he added.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed extending the New START without any conditions for at least a year “in order to be able to conduct meaningful negotiations on all issues that are governed by agreements of this kind.”

The White House then rejected Putin’s proposal.

“President Putin’s response today to extend New START without freezing nuclear warheads is a non-starter,” U.S. President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien tweeted.

In 2010, Washington and Moscow signed the New START, which stipulates limits to the numbers of deployed nuclear warheads and strategic delivery systems by both.

The New START, the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty in force between the two nuclear superpowers, will expire on Feb. 5, 2021.

The agreement can be extended for at most five years with the consent of the two countries.

Without an extension, the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals would be unchecked for the first time since 1972.

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