05:58 GMT25 October 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) should be extended but efforts to bring in China in the negotiations have been flawed from the beginning, US Senator Chris Van Hollen said during the event organized by the Arms Control Association on Friday.

    "Why should we care about the New START agreement? Well, very simply, it’s in our national security interest to extend New START.Their efforts to force, to shoehorn China into the agreement was flawed from the beginning," Van Hollen said.

    The New START is the last remaining legally binding agreement between the United States and Russia - countries with the largest stockpiles of nuclear weapons - and will expire in February of 2021 if it is not extended.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin previously proposed a five-year extension of the treaty without preconditions. However, the United States has insisted on including China in the negotiations to extend the treaty and create a new trilateral nuclear deal. In addition, the United States has proposed expanding the treaty to encompass a number of new classes of weapons.

    The United Nations had previously torn up the key Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty and maintains that China must be a party to any upcoming arms reductions or control treaty.

    Tags:
    China, Chris Van Hollen, agreement, Russia, United States, US
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