07:57 GMT26 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Moscow is not against the participation of China in global arms control arrangements, but will not pressure Beijing in that respect, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

    "Americans are constantly pressing the issue of having China join the discussion on medium and short range missiles and the New START", Lavrov said in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper. "But there are Beijing’s multiple public statements, that it will not join such negotiations, because China’s structure of nuclear forces is fundamentally different from that of Russia and the United States. … If China suddenly changes its mind … we will participate in multilateral negotiations. But we will not persuade Beijing", Lavrov added.

    The Minister added that Russia is ready to discuss the possibility of the next arms control treaty covering new types of Russian weaponry, provided that the same principle applies to the US and other western countries.

    "Americans are interested in our new weapons … our military is ready to consider some of these weapons in the context of the treaty criteria", Lavrov told the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper.

    On December 2019, Sergey Lavrov said that Russia wants to extend the New START as soon as possible but without preconditions.

    New START expires in February 2021 and the United States has so far not committed to extending the accord. The Trump administration has said it has a sufficient amount of time to determine whether it will extend the treaty or let it expire next February. 

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