The deputy foreign minister says he sees no desire on the U.S. side to engage in discussions to renew or extend the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Financial Times the “complete malfunction” of the U.S. system of government has meant that key treaties are likely to lapse and leave the world’s nuclear powers “without constraint in the event of a conflict.”
The top Russian diplomat spoke to FT’s reporters as U.S. and Russian negotiators met in Geneva to discuss the Cold War-era Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty meant to keep nuclear capable ICBMs in check. Both sides have engaged in tit-for-tat fighting over alleged breaches of the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which bans firing land-based missiles with a range of up to 3,400 miles.
Ryabkov said Moscow now views the West as “adversaries, not friends.” He warned that a new round of sanctions levied by Washington over the summer were now getting in the way of negotiating renewal of the START, adding:
“If there is no progress, then risk of a real backfire grows. I don’t think we can easily say the future of New START is bright.
Among the negotiators in Geneva is U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison, who last week warned Moscow that it was “on notice” that American countermeasures would “take out” missiles in development that they deemed to be in violation of the INF treaty. The talks also come in the wake of President Donald Trump’s unveiling of a new nuclear strategy that specifically calls for countering Russia and developing smaller tactical nuclear weapons that fall outside the START framework.
Additionally, the Pentagon has fast-tracked project aimed at developing new ICBMs, nuclear-capable cruise missiles, and hypersonic weapons.
Full article: Russian Official: Cold War Arms Race Back On (TruNews)