US Proposals on New START Only Good for Washington, but Unattractive for Moscow, Ryabkov Says
18:53 GMT 21.09.2020
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The US-proposed deal, which envisages conclusion of a framework document before the expiration of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), is good only for Washington, but there is nothing attractive in it for Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.
"This would certainly be a good deal for the US itself. From this point of view, Ambassador Billingslea is right", Ryabkov said in an interview with the Kommersant newspaper, commenting on the proposal.
"As for the Russian side, there are no grounds for any kind of deal, in the form proposed by our colleagues in Washington. All three points that are put forward by the United States as a precondition for them to decide in favour of the extension of the New START appears to us to be too far-reaching and lacking attractive elements. Realizing the complexity of moving forward, taking into account how different our approaches are and how far they are from each other, we propose to extend the New START as it was signed. We are not looking for any unilateral advantages for ourselves, but also will not make any unilateral concessions", the diplomat said.
According to Ryabkov, if the United States is ready to work out "something new on the basis of a balance of interests," on the basis of parity, "without claims of unilateral steps towards them from Russia," then the deal "will probably be possible."
"But it will take time to develop it. We will be able to secure it if the New START is extended", Ryabkov added.
US President Donald Trump's special envoy for arms control Marshall Billingslea said earlier that Washington was proposing Moscow to agree â€” before the New START expiration in February 2021 â€” a framework document (a memorandum) at the presidential level in the field of arms control, which, according to the United States, should include a clause on China's participation in the development of a new long-term Treaty.
The US side announced that it was ready to conclude such a memorandum "tomorrow" and it would not require ratification. Billingslea said Russia should have agreed to the proposal before the US presidential election in November, otherwise "when Trump is re-elected, the "admission fee" will rise.
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