Russia blames the US for lack of political will to extend the nuclear weapons agreement

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WASHINGTON – Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Riabkov said his country does not see the political will of the United States to extend the Strategic Weapons Reduction Treaty (START III) that expires in 2021.

“There are no insurmountable problems here, it is a matter of political will. But so far we do not see that political will on the part of the Americans,” the diplomat said.

START III, signed on February 5, 2010, limits the arsenals of the two countries to a maximum of 700 missiles deployed, 1,550 nuclear warheads and 800 corresponding vehicles, deployed and in reserve.

Riabkov said that Washington continues to reflect on whether or not to extend the treaty, the only one that would link the two great powers after the White House finally broke down on August 2 the INF Treaty of medium and short-range missiles.

The Russian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs warned that the extension of START III is a process that requires months.

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“The decision to extend the document and the extension itself are two different issues, since to extend the treaty the Executive must present the respective bill in Parliament,” he explained.

The regulations, he explained, must be submitted to discussions in the two Houses of the Legislature and a subsequent vote.

“All these stages take months… that is why the decision must be made as soon as possible,” Riabkov settled.
Senior US officials do not consider the extension of the nuclear weapons treaty to be urgent.

Thus, the Deputy Secretary of State, Christopher Ford, argued that there was no urgency to extend the treaty, arguing that there is no need for negotiations, the parties could extend the document without any change.

The United States insists on a new treaty that includes China, something that the Asian country has already rejected.

Moscow considers that the nuclear arsenals of France and the United Kingdom, countries that do not participate in any arms control process, should also be taken into account.

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