Russia makes offer to US on last major arms control treaty | Russia

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Russia says it will freeze its number of nuclear warheads to extend the new START deal, which expires in February.

Russia said on Tuesday it would be ready to freeze its total number of nuclear warheads if the United States did the same to extend its last major arms control treaty by one year.The offer, two weeks before the US presidential election, appeared to narrow the gap between the two sides over the fate of the new START deal, which is due to expire in February.

Last week, the United States rejected Russia’s offer to unconditionally extend the pact for one year, saying any proposal that did not consider freezing all nuclear warheads was a “non-starter.”

But a statement released Tuesday by the Russian Foreign Ministry suggests that the positions of the two countries have come closer.

“Russia proposes to extend the new START for a year and is ready, with the United States, to make a political commitment to ‘freeze’ the number of nuclear warheads held by the parties during this period,” he said. -he declares.

The new START, signed in 2010, imposes limits on the strategic nuclear arsenals of the two countries.

Enlarging it would mark a rare bright spot in the strained relations between the two countries. Failure to do so would remove the main pillar maintaining the nuclear balance between them and add yet another element of tension.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said freezing warheads and the one-year extension would be possible if Washington did not make any additional requests. He said the extension would give both sides time to discuss nuclear weapons control in more depth.

Moscow and Washington disagree on the treaty despite several months of talks. The United States called for China to be included in a larger treaty that would replace the new START. China rejected this proposal.

Last year, the United States withdrew from a Cold War-era arms control pact banning nuclear and conventional ballistic and cruise missiles launched to the ground with ranges between 310 and 3,400. miles (500 to 5,500 km), citing Russian violations denied by Moscow. .



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