"President Putin has repeatedly stated that we are ready to begin negotiations on the extension of this treaty. The contract expires only in 2021, but time runs quickly", Lavrov has stated.
According to the Russian foreign minister, Moscow proposed to Washington to begin such discussions, taking into account the need for clarification on some of the concerns that Russia has about the US decision to make non-nuclear some of the Tomahawk submarines and some heavy bombers.
As the minister pointed out, the contract allows such denuclearisation, but only in a way that would be recognised technically as reliable by the other party to the contract.
"So far we've not been offered any meaningful consultations but we'll keep trying", Lavrov said.
The New START Treaty entered into force in 2011. The agreement covers a 10-year period with the possibility of a five-year extension. The treaty 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. The talks on extending the agreement have been delayed over mutual concerns about compliance.