Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, October 16, proposed to extend the current Treaty on the Reduction of Offensive Arms (START) for a year without any conditions. The US has already reacted to this. Experts from the American Arms Control Association urge the US administration to agree to this.
Former Deputy Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Thomas Countryman drew attention to the fact that the extension of the treaty is vital for Russia, the United States, and international security. According to him, Trump needs to agree to the extension of the START Treaty, otherwise “the door will open” for the start of the nuclear arms race.
“We strongly urge President Trump to choose ‘yes’ in response to Russia’s proposal to extend START III without conditions, ideally for five years.”
Meanwhile, Fu Cong, director of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Arms Control Department, noted that China views Washington’s calls for trilateral agreements as a ploy to avoid prolonging the Treaty.
Fu Cong noted that China also urges the United States to accept Russia’s offer, but the likelihood of such a development of events is “decreasing by the minute.” The diplomat added that there is no reason for China to join the talks between Moscow and Washington on the reduction of nuclear weapons.
China itself intends to pursue a policy of minimal containment, Fu Cong said.
“We will only support our nuclear forces at the minimum level necessary for our national security,” he said in an interview with Kommersant.
The diplomat added that nuclear weapons should be exclusively a deterrent: they should not use them on the battlefield.
The Federation Council called Putin’s proposal “legally flawless and politically responsible.”
“The legal side of the issue is exhausted by the provision of Article 14 of the agreement:” If either party raises the issue of extending this agreement, the parties jointly consider it. “Now the Americans are obliged to answer,” said the head of the international committee of the Federation Council, Konstantin Kosachev on Facebook.
The senator noted the political importance of the proposal: “Russia has demonstrated full awareness of its global responsibility for the fate of the treaty and, consequently, the consequences of its non-extension for international stability and security.”
The United States must show the same responsibility, Kosachev concluded.
On October 2, the UN spoke about the need to extend the Treaty on Measures to Further Reduce and Limit Strategic Offensive Arms between Russia and the United States. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at a meeting of the General Assembly of the organization said that the document should be immediately prolonged for a maximum of five years.