America is no better than Russia
USA and Russia facing a new round of disarmament?
According to the US, the USA and Russia have agreed talks on nuclear disarmament. The US government's special envoy for disarmament issues, Marshall Billingslea, wrote on Twitter that he had reached an agreement with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on a time and place for negotiations in June. China was also invited, said Billingslea. He did not say exactly where and when the negotiations were to be held. There is still no confirmation from the Russian side.
Recently, Russia has repeatedly put pressure to start negotiations. However, Moscow dampened hopes and stressed, even after the US recently announced withdrawal from the agreement on military observation flights ("Open Skies"), that there was little chance of a rescue of the last major nuclear disarmament treaty, "New Start". Russian President Vladimir Putin surprisingly convened his country's Security Council in May to discuss the future of the two treaties. He complained that there were no serious negotiations with the US about the extension of "New Start". It is an issue of paramount importance - "not just for us, but for the whole world," said Putin.
Contract end February 2021
The "New Start" treaty to limit strategic nuclear weapons expires in February 2021. Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov said at the end of May that after the US elections in November it was too late to negotiate an extension, as Russia is proposing. Moscow had warned of an uncontrollable nuclear arms race if the agreement was not extended. The USA had declared its willingness to hold talks, but demanded, so far without success, that China should also be involved in a new contract. "Will China show goodwill and negotiate that way?" Asked Billingslea in his tweet.
INF already a thing of the past
"New Start" plans to reduce the nuclear arsenals of Russia and the USA to 800 carrier systems and 1,550 ready-to-use nuclear warheads each. Another important disarmament agreement between the two countries was only terminated last summer: the INF treaty banning land-based short and medium-range nuclear weapons. Putin and US President Donald Trump last spoke on the phone in early June. After the phone call, the Russian side said that the dialogue between Moscow and Washington should be activated. In May of last year in the Russian Black Sea metropolis of Sochi, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was optimistic that the "New Start" contract could be extended after talks with his counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
ml / rb (dpa)
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