15:08 GMT01 April 2020
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    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - Russia still awaits the United States' response to the proposal to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said at a UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday.

    "[Russian] President Putin has proposed to extend the New START to the USA without any preconditions", Nebenzia said. "We're still awaiting an answer".

    The New START stipulates that the number of strategic nuclear missile launchers limits the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550 and strategic bombers to 700.

    The agreement is due to expire in February 2021 but the two parties to the accord can renew it for another five years. The Trump administration has said it has a sufficient amount of time to determine whether it would extend the treaty or let it expire in February. President Donald Trump has also repeatedly indicated he would let it come to an end unless a new deal was signed to include other nations, mainly China.

    On part of Russia, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that Russia wants to extend the New START as soon as possible, but without preconditions.

    The New START is the only remaining legally binding US-Russian agreement on nuclear arms control that has been in force since 2011.

    Tags:
    United Nations, nuclear weapons, negotiations, Vassily Nebenzia, proposal, Russia, United States
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