Russian President Vladimir Putin has known as for a right away, unconditional renewal of the final nuclear arms treaty between Moscow and Washington, highlighting that his personal nation has developed new strategic weapons that the United States doesn’t have.

Amid an unprecedented spike in COVID-19 circumstances, the Russian chief met just about on Friday with members of his safety council and positioned arms management excessive on his agenda. After calling first on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to report on the progress of talks to increase the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) earlier than it expires on February 4, Putin weighed in on the failing non-proliferation pact.

“It would be extremely sad if the treaty ceased to exist altogether and were not replaced by another fundamental document of this kind,” he mentioned.

He touted the success of the treaty and its 2010 and 1991 predecessors in stopping an all-out arms race between the high two nuclear powers, but additionally took the alternative to assert that the Russian arsenal has in some methods surpassed that of the U.S.—one thing he was keen to deal with in a brand new settlement.

“It is clear that we have new weapons systems that the American side does not have, at least not yet,” Putin mentioned, “but we do not refuse to discuss this side of the issue.”

Putin, who has since late final yr proposed a no-conditions extension of New START, provided a brand new, extra particular path to probably push ahead negotiations with the Trump administration.

“I have a proposal, namely: to extend the existing treaty without any conditions for at least a year, in order to be able to conduct meaningful negotiations on all parameters of the problems that are governed by agreements of this kind,” he mentioned, “so as not to leave our countries and all states of the world that are interested in maintaining strategic stability, without such a fundamental document as New START.”

Shortly afterward, Trump’s personal nationwide safety council launched a press release calling Putin’s proposal a “non-starter” as a result of it did not embody “freezing nuclear warheads.”

“The United States is serious about arms control that will keep the entire world safe,” nationwide safety adviser Robert O’Brien mentioned. “We hope that Russia will reevaluate its position before a costly arms race ensues.”

The Russian navy assessments the Avangard hypersonic boost-glide automobile at the Dombarovsky Air Base close to close to Yasny in Russia’s Orenburg province, December 26, 2018. The weapon was mentioned able to touring greater than 20 instances the velocity of sound and invincible to present defenses.
Russian Ministry of Defense

The state of New START consultations stays in flux simply weeks forward of the U.S. election, elevating considerations on the Russian aspect.

Confusion erupted Tuesday after U.S. Special Presidential Envoy on Arms Control Marshall Billingslea mentioned he believed the two sides had reached “an agreement in principle at the highest levels of our two governments” on extending New START “for some period of time.” A State Department official later confirmed this view to Newsweek.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov rapidly dismissed this comment, saying the U.S. proposal for a nuclear “freeze” was “unacceptable.” He claimed the feedback have been a part of a Trump administration effort to attain political factors forward of the election. He added {that a} deal was unlikely earlier than the election ought to the present deadlock maintain.

As of Thursday, there gave the impression to be no progress in the negotiations.