Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned in a statement on 26 August that a potential refusal to prolong the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) by the US could have grave consequences for the entire world.
"The consequences for global strategic stability will be rather harmful. Strategic stability in general on a global scale will undoubtedly be damaged because we, all humanity, will be practically left without a single document regulating the sphere [of nuclear armaments]", the spokesman said.
Peskov further noted that the issue of prolonging New START has already been raised by Russian President Vladimir Putin in talks with US counterpart Donald Trump, but so far Washington has "shown no signs" that it's ready to discuss the treaty's future.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton earlier suggested that the US is "unlikely" to prolong the nuclear arms treaty claiming that it is "flawed", while President Trump considered reaching a new accord that would incorporate China along with Russia. Beijing so far has declined Trump's idea, while Moscow has stated that it's ready to discuss extending New START.
The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, also known as the New START, was signed between Russia and the US in April 2010 to replace an old nuclear armaments treaty. New START has limited the amount of both countries' nuclear missile launchers, inter-continental ballistic missiles, strategic bombers and deployed warheads, without imposing limits on the number of inactive stockpiled nuclear warheads. The arms treaty is set to expire on 5 February 2021 with an option to extend it until 2026.