Kremlin Would Prefer to Hear US Readiness to Extend New START, Presidential Spokesman Says

© Sputnik / Sergey Pyatakov / Go to the photo bankYars MIRV-equipped ICBM, on its mobile Kamaz transporter
Yars MIRV-equipped ICBM, on its mobile Kamaz transporter - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Kremlin would prefer the United States to announce its readiness to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), as giving up on the deal could have a negative impact on the entire world, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested extending the arms deal for one year, without any conditions, so that the two sides could discuss all the parameters of the arms control during this period. US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said this proposal was "a non-starter." The US had earlier suggested extending the treaty for one year if Moscow and Washington froze the number of their nuclear warheads for that period.

"We hope that contacts with the US will continue in any case. On the whole, as the president has said, extension of the treaty would help us secure some time, these 12 months, for serious and substantial talks on the arms control. Because leaving our two countries and the whole world without this document — [which] is currently the cornerstone in the foundation of the global stability and security, strategic security, — would have quite negative consequences. So we would of course prefer to hear from our US partners that they are ready to extend the treaty," Peskov told reporters.

According to the spokesman, the talks with the United States have not yielded the expected progress so far, but this does not mean that they have to be stopped.

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