‘Putin’s proposal a non-starter’: White House rejects Russian call to extend nuclear arms control treaty

Washington has refused President Vladimir Putin’s offer to extend New START, the last remaining arms control treaty between the US and Russia, for one year without any preconditions.

“President Putin’s response today to extend New START… is a non-starter,” the US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said in response to Moscow’s offer, adding that Washington hopes Russia “will reevaluate its position before a costly arms race ensues.”

Incidentally, a potential arms race was what Putin was warning against as he extended his offer to the US. A failure to prolong the key arms reduction agreement, officially known as Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, would leave the world “without any instruments to curb an arms race,” the Russian president told the nation’s security council earlier on Friday.

Following America’s unilateral withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty last year, the 2010 New START agreement remains the only active arms-control deal between the two nuclear powers. The treaty is due to expire in February 2021 and negotiations to extend it have so far been deadlocked.

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The deal limits the number of nuclear warheads the US and Russia could possess to 1,550 each. It also says that each side must have no more than 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and nuclear bombers. The total number of strategic nuclear delivery vehicles must not exceed 800.

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Source:RT World News

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