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Trump wants to reach arms control agreement with Russia

Christian Fernsby |
U.S. President Donald Trump said he counts on reaching an agreement on arms control between the United States and Russia.

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"I think we are going to end making a deal with Russia where we have some kind of an arms control, because all we are doing is adding on what we don't need and they are, too," the U.S. leader said in an interview with C-SPAN.

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said earlier that Washington will withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. He also added that the only remaining U.S.-Russia New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), is unlikely to be renewed.

In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow is ready to drop the New START arms control treaty if the United States is not interested in renewing it.

In February, the United States formally suspended its obligations under the INF Treaty, triggering a six-month withdrawal process that will conclude in a full withdrawal on 2 August.

New START was signed in 2010 and is currently the only Russian-US arms control treaty. The treaty expires in 2021 and the Trump administration remains undecided on whether to extend it, while Russia has repeatedly stressed that it is ready for dialogue.

The INF Treaty requires the United States and Russia to eliminate and permanently forswear all nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.

The President of the National Strategy Institute, Mikhail Remizov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted in the first place that the likelihood that the parties will agree to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) is higher now than the prolongation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

"The restrictions existing in the framework of the current agreements are not too pressing for both powers, as they allow developing different types of weapons, modernizing them and having sufficient arsenals," the expert stressed.

Commenting on U.S. President Donald Trump's statement about his intention to reach a new agreement on arms control, he stressed that it is not yet clear what the U.S. leader had in mind. "Trump loves the word 'deal' and uses it all the time. As for limiting strategic offensive arms, there is a sanction on the prolongation of the New START. With regard to the INF treaty, it's more unlikely, as it was said that the U.S. will return to this issue only with the participation of China. And now it's almost impossible," the president of the National Strategy Institute said.

According to Remizov, if we imagine a hypothetical situation in which Russia and the United States would make a new treaty that would simply limit the deployment of such missiles only in Europe, then perhaps China would have reason to think about joining the negotiation process.

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