23:40 GMT06 August 2020
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    US President Donald Trump revealed Wednesday during a news conference in the White House's Rose Garden that the US is "doing very well" in negotiating an arms control agreement with Russia.

    "We also are working with Russia right now on an arms treaty, which is a big thing, nuclear arms specifically," Trump said. "I think I can say... we're doing very well on that."

    On Monday, US and Russian officials held talks on nuclear arms control, as the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) between US and Russia is set to expire in February.

    The New START was signed in 2010 by the two countries to reduce US and Russian strategic nuclear arsenals and is a successor to the START I bilateral treaty between the US and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which entered force in 1994.

    Although Russia has expressed interest in extending New START before it expires, the Trump administration has resisted the  invitation, claiming that the treaty signed by then-US President Barack Obama is more favorable to Moscow than Washington.

    “New START is going to expire in February. There is the ability to extend it. But again, it’s the wrong framework for the future,” Marshall Billingslea, Trump’s new special envoy for arms control, said in an interview in May, the Washington Post reported. “The right framework for the future is a trilateral approach that has at its heart effective verification.”

    The Trump administration has said that a new arms control agreement should also include China. However, China has repeatedly declined invitations to join any arms control talks with the US and Russia.

    "China has repeated many times that we have no intention to join the so-called trilateral arms control talks between Russia, China and the United States, and this stance is quite clear," the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said earlier this month.

    New START is the last standing arms control treaty between Russia and the US.

    The US formally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) Treaty on August 2, citing alleged Russian violations as an excuse, along with the reluctance of other countries, including China, to join the deal.

    The Cold War-era treaty was signed by the US and Soviet Union in 1987, banning all short-medium-range (310-620 miles) and intermediate-range (620-3,420 miles) ground-launched missiles.

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