US President Donald Trump is open about extending the Treaty on Measures to Further Reduce and Limit Strategic Offensive Arms (START III). The position of the head of state was indicated by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Reuters reports.
“We would be delighted to be able to reach an agreement based on the understanding we have reached in recent weeks on possible extensions to the treaty,” Pompeo said at a meeting with reporters.
Earlier, the US President’s special envoy Marshall Billingsley said that Washington and Moscow have made progress in negotiations on the extension of the START-3 Treaty. He explained that the United States is ready to extend the treaty subject to a temporary freeze of the size of the nuclear arsenals of both countries. The American diplomat noted that the United States may agree to conclude an agreement “even tomorrow,” but Moscow will also have to show political will.
Later, Moscow called the US freeze proposal unacceptable. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov explained that the Russian side considers it necessary to deal with the problems of strategic stability in a complex, and “if the Americans need to report to their superiors about their successes on the eve of the presidential elections, they will not get it.”
START III was signed in 2010 by the then presidents of Russia and the United States, Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama. The agreement came into force in 2011 and expires in February 2021.