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Trump Administration Interested in Extending New START Treaty - Undersecretary

© Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich /  / Go to the mediabankUS President Donald Trump before the start of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires (File photo).
US President Donald Trump before the start of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires (File photo). - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON, 11 March (Sputnik) - The Trump administration is interested in extending the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) beyond 2020, Undersecretary of State Andrea Thompson said at the 2019 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference on Monday.

"I'd also counter the narrative that the [United States] president isn't interested in the New START", Thompson said when asked about concerns regarding Trump's commitment to the treaty. "We've had discussions, we're in an inter-agency process now. We've had the discussions on the extension, what it means, where we are".

Thompson said she wanted to counter the notion that Trump does not want to renew the agreement.

"I would actually push back on that assessment", Thompson said when asked about what a moderator called "Trump's expressed disinterest in extending New START".

Thomson noted that the United States is continuing to abide by the treaty's terms, adding that "we met the central limits, as did our Russian counterparts last year".

READ MORE: 'As Soon as New START Expires, US Could Return to All Arsenal' — Source

US and Russian officials also continue to meet at the expert level, she said.

The RT-2PM Topol ballistic missile riding to the site of its permanent deployment with the Strategic Missile Forces of the Central Military District - Sputnik International
US May Be Dragging Out Time Until New START Treaty Expires - Moscow
She noted that Russia and the United States still have two years to decide whether to extend the treaty, adding that Washington would make its final decision based on what would best uphold the safety and security of the American people.

The Russia-US New START Treaty entered into force in 2011 and covers a 10-year period with the possibility of a five-year extension. It is based on several previous joint non-proliferation arrangements and limits the number of deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, nuclear-armed bombers, and nuclear warheads.

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