On Friday, the United States called on Russia to agree to an extension of the nuclear treaty, or else a “costly arms race” would begin.
Earlier this week, the US said it had reached an agreement in principle with Russia to extend New START, but Moscow quickly rejected US terms.
On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed extending it for another year.
“I have a proposal to extend the current agreement without any preconditions for at least one year to be able to conduct substantive negotiations,” Putin said at a meeting of his security council, according to a Kremlin statement. Reuters…
But the White House was quick to turn down Putin’s offer.
“Today’s response from President Putin to extend New START without freezing nuclear warheads is a failure,” said National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.
O’Brien said the US has offered to extend the deal for one year “in exchange for the US and Russia limiting all nuclear warheads for that period.” He said it would be “a victory for both sides.”
However, a US spokesman warned that the US is serious about arms control.
“We hope Russia will reconsider its position before the costly arms race breaks out,” he said.
The Trump administration is unsuccessfully pushing for its adversary, China, to join a treaty that limits the United States and Russia to 1,550 nuclear warheads and expires on February 5.
After weeks of negotiating the renewal of the New START Treaty Washington and Moscow found themselves stumped over the terms of the extension. New START was signed in April 2010 but entered into force in February 2011. It limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads, missiles, and bombers that Russia and the United States can deploy.