00:31 GMT23 April 2021
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    United States National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien has rejected Vladimir Putin's proposal to extend the last remaining arms control pact between Russia and the US without preconditions, qualifying it as a "non-starter".

    Washington has dismissed President Putin’s proposal to extend the New START treaty without duly analysing it, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov told Russia's Channel 1 on Saturday.

    According to Antonov, the US is attempting to deliberately distort Russia's rejection of Washington's propositions on the issue. He believes that the United States is trying to "turn things upside down to make Russia look as if it wants to destroy everything".

    On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested extending the New START treaty without any preconditions, noting that a world without any accord regulating arms would represent a full-blown threat.

    Addressing the Russian Security Council, the president said that the country had new kinds of weapons systems that the United States did not possess and Moscow was willing to discuss this issue with Washington.

    However, soon after the proposal was voiced, US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said that without freezing nuclear warheads such an extension would be a non-starter.

    The New START, signed in 2010, is the only currently valid Russian-US arms reduction deal. The treaty expires in 2021 and the United States remains undecided on whether to extend it or not, while Russia has repeatedly stressed that it is ready for dialogue.

    Tags:
    proposal, Putin, New START
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