20:47 GMT +318 January 2020
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    Moscow has welcomed US President Donald Trump's proposal to Russia and China on nuclear disarmament and asked for more details. Alexander Gillespie, professor of international law at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, has spoken with Sputnik about the prospects of Trump's "grand plan's" implementation and the reasons behind the proposal.

    Sputnik: CNN has reported on President Trump allegedly mulling a nuclear deal with Russia and China. In your view, why are we seeing this report now? 

    Alexander Gillespie: The idea of a grand deal is very enticing — especially at a time when so many other things in the international sphere are unsettled. In terms of timing — as Russia and China are about to have high level meetings, and North Korea and Russia are talking, such a proposition of a 'grand deal' helps regain the headlines.

    READ MORE: Trump Eyes Major Nuclear Deal With Russia, China — Reports

    Sputnik: Who may benefit from such a speculation now, in the midst of Mueller report turmoil?

    Alexander Gillespie: Most of the impact of the Mueller report is past and impeachment is a pipe dream. I don't see such talk of a grand deal as about the Mueller report, as a way to try to introduce something new and break the gridlock in international arms control. This is especially important after so many failures around Iran, the INF Treaty, a lack of progress on North Korea, and the failure to take the probable end of the start treaty in 2021 seriously.

    Sputnik: How likely is it that the president is actually considering such a deal?

    Alexander Gillespie: I think he is considering it carefully. It would be magical if he could pull it off. Reagan was the last one to make such a breakthrough, and end the Сold War. I imagine Trump would like a similar legacy.

    READ MORE: Russia Insists on Total Ban of Nuclear Drills in Non-Nuclear States

    Sputnik: What can be offered to attract China and Russia?

    Alexander Gillespie: With Russia — redoing the start, maybe reducing the numbers a bit more. With Russia and China, trying to remove the platform that caused the INF to collapse — short range nuclear missiles. I doubt China would like such a proposal as they are already at a large numerical disadvantage, but the need to get them within the nuclear arms limitation treaties is crucial. Too much of what we have governing this space is the product of the cold war, but the 21st century and the balance of power is different.

    Sputnik: What can be proposed instead of the new start which has been heavily criticised? 

    Alexander Gillespie: Redoing the START [Treaty] should be the largest priority between Russia and America. Between the two of them they hold about 90% of the world’s nukes — in a controlled way. If the START falls over, the limits and the inspections which promote cooperation and compliance will disappear. It would be an absolute disaster.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's positions.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    nuclear deal, Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, China, United States, Russia
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