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US Refuses to Have Lawyers' Meeting to Discuss Details on Extension of New START Treaty - Moscow

© AP Photo / Jockel FinckA US Air Force B-52 bomber returning from a mission over Iraq is refueling from a KC-10 plane over the Black Sea, in this Friday, March 28, 2003 photo
A US Air Force B-52 bomber returning from a mission over Iraq is refueling from a KC-10 plane over the Black Sea, in this Friday, March 28, 2003 photo - Sputnik International
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Signed on 8 April 2010 in Prague, the US-Russia nuclear reduction treaty dubbed New START expires in February 2021, with Moscow suggesting the deal could be effectively renewed.

The US has refused to convene lawyers to debate details surrounding the extension of the New START accord, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

"We had proposed a separate meeting, so that our lawyers could make sure we are on the same page and work out some basic understanding regarding the technical aspect of the New START extension. However, the other day, Americans formally declined the suggestion," said Vladimir Leontyev, deputy head of the MFA's Department of non-proliferation and arms control.

According to Leontyev, given the lack of time, it is now impossible to come up with productive arrangements to replace the existing treaty due to the US' refusal to engage in a meaningful dialogue.

One year from now, in February 2021, the Treaty between the US and Russia on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, better known as New START, will expire. However, a possibility of a five-year extension is understood to still exist.

Russian officials have repeatedly said they were ready to renew the New Start, but the US administration said it would rather sign a new treaty that would include both Russia and China. Beijing, meanwhile, has refuted the option.

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