15:14 GMT21 June 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Jon Huntsman, the outgoing US ambassador to Russia, said on Saturday in an interview with the Dozhd TV channel that he could hardly imagine the situation when Moscow and Washington would fail to agree on the extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in 2021.

    The ambassador expressed confidence that the sides would be able to negotiate a more comprehensive deal that would take into account the new realities.

    According to Huntsman, it is wrong to say that the withdrawal of the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty will trigger a new arms race, especially considering special attention that US President Donald Trump pays to the arms control.

    The United States withdrew from the INF Treaty on 2 August after accusing Russia of failing to comply with the deal. Moscow refuted the allegations and responded by suspending its own participation in the pact.

    Jon Huntsman
    © Sputnik / Sergey Pyatakov
    Jon Huntsman

    The New START is the last remaining arms control treaty in force between the world's two largest nuclear-armed powers — the United States and Russia. It stipulates the reduction of the number of strategic nuclear missiles launchers by half and limits the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550. The agreement is set to expire in February 2021.

    Huntsman said in a letter to Trump last month that he intended to resign from his post on October 3, after two years at the job.

    New START, US, Russia
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