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Deal on Nuclear Warhead Freeze Could Deter Next US Leader From U-Turns, Russian Lawmaker Says

© Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich / Go to the photo bankRussia INF Treaty
Russia INF Treaty - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The signing of a Russian-US agreement on nuclear warhead freeze under the Donald Trump administration could become an incentive for its successor to hold back hawkish policies and stick to arms control principles, the first deputy chair of the Russian lower house's foreign affairs committee said.

"If such an agreement becomes a reality, then in any case, it is, first of all, an unconditional success of the forces that advocate for arms control and, hence, for preserving guarantees of preventing a new world war," Dmitry Novikov said.

According to the lawmaker, the signing of a freeze agreement would become not only a success for the current administration but also an incentive for its successor to stick to arms control commitments, in case Democrats come to power in November.

"The new head of the White House will have to choose between the roles of a peacemaker and a hawk. Democrats have already made some statements committing them to move toward maintaining control mechanisms on the most significant and serious types of weapons. If they suddenly make a U-turn on their policy after entering the White House, they will have to explain this at least," he added.

Such an agreement, Novikov went on, would also positively affect the situation in the world, "where too many security mechanisms have already been broken, making the world very fragile."

The AP news agency reported on Friday, citing a source, that Russia and the US had agreed in principle to continue freezing their nuclear stockpiles. If it holds, an agreement could be reportedly announced before the November presidential election and may potentially lead to the New START extension. According to the source, the US has informed Russia that if the talks drag out beyond the election, it will demand more concessions from Moscow.

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