Moscow has not received any official proposal on replacing the New START arms control treaty, senior diplomat says
Russia has not received any concrete proposals to resume talks on replacing the landmark New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) treaty, despite recent remarks by US President Joe Biden on the matter, a senior Russian diplomat said on Friday. . He also signaled that the negotiations should be held without any preconditions.
“Saying you’re ready doesn’t mean you areDeputy Head of the Moscow Delegation to the UN Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, Andrey Belousov, told reporters.
According to the diplomat, a real commitment to renew the dialogue with Russia »must be supported by concrete proposals, concrete signalswhich Moscow might see as a firm decision on the part of the United States to “resume close cooperation with Russia on a wide range of strategic stability issues.”
“At the moment, we do not receive such signals, except for these declarative statements, including those coming from the highest level,” he added.
Belousov noted that the timing of US statements on arms control should also be considered.
“Clearly the timing was chosen on purpose. The US President’s statement was made ahead of the conference [on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons] intentionally to show that the United States is still a state you can cooperate with and is ready for dialoguesaid the Russian representative.
According to Belousov, Moscow does not believe that the United States is ready for constructive talks on the New START treaty that would take into account the interests of all parties, at least not at this stage. He also noted that Russia views the preconditions for dialogue set by Washington as “unacceptable.”
“The US President’s statement, which we believe reflects a softening of the US position on resuming dialogue with Russia on a wide range of strategic stability issues, is linked to a kind of precondition“, Belousov said, adding that it was not worded in black and white, but rather looked like a hint.
The senior diplomat recalled that previous statements on this matter were “more precise and understandable.”
“There were specific conditions under which the United States would agree to resume this dialogue with us.,” he said. “But in any case, whatever the wording of these preconditions, we find them unacceptable..”
The diplomat echoed remarks made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who said on Wednesday that the United States had done no “demands on the reopening of this negotiation process.“The West,” he said at the time, “got into the habit of making announcements on the mic and then forgetting about them.”
Earlier this month, Biden revealed that Washington was ready to negotiate”a new arms control frameworkwith Russia that could potentially replace the New START treaty when it expires in 2026. The landmark document, which came into effect in 2011 and was extended into 2021 after Biden’s inauguration, limits the number of strategic nuclear missiles and warheads held by Russia. and the United States.
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