US, Russia Close to Arms Control Deal, Long-Term START Treaty Talks May Follow, Envoy Says
16:00 GMT 21.10.2020
WASHINGTON, (Sputnik) â€“ The United States and Russia are "very close" to an arms control agreement that may lead to negotiations on a long-term deal, US Permanent Representative to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison told reporters on Wednesday.
"We are encouraged that we are very close to coming to an agreement that the US has offered their Russian counterparts, that would have a two-way street that we would agree to a freeze on nuclear warheads for one year and Russia would agree with us on a one-year extension on New START," Hutchison said during a virtual press briefing.
The agreement would be verifiable and allow both sides to start a negotiation "on long-term new New START," she added.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested the American side extend the arms deal for another year without any conditions to provide time for both sides to discuss all the parameters of the arms control. The US had earlier suggested extending the treaty for one year if Moscow and Washington froze the number of their nuclear warheads for that period.
The New START agreement, signed back in 2010, is the only Russian-US arms-reduction deal which is valid at present. The treaty expires on 5 February 2021 and the United States remains unsettled on whether to extend it or not, and Russia has repeatedly stressed that it is ready for dialogue.
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