A Russian flag flies next to the US embassy building in Moscow on October 22, 2018.

The United States and Russia meet for nuclear weapons negotiations this month

Presidential Special Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingsley said that he and his Russian counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, had agreed “at the appropriate time and place for the nuclear weapons negotiations in June”.

The Trump administration has abandoned a number of arms control agreements, most recently the open skies treaty, in favor of seeking a tripartite agreement with Russia and China. The insistence of a tripartite agreement is widely seen as a way to thwart the new START treaty, the United States-Russia Nuclear Weapons Reduction Treaty, which is due to expire in February 2021. Beijing has rejected calls to participate in the tripartite talks.

In a tweet on Monday, Billingsley said that China has been invited to discussions this month, writing, “Will China emerge and negotiate in good faith?”

The arms control envoy reiterated last month that it expected to be a future multilateral arms control agreement, telling reporters, “We fully expect that whatever arrangements are reached, the Chinese will be part of a tripartite framework for moving forward.”

It is unclear what incentive China will have to join the talks, given the disproportionate size of its nuclear arsenal compared to Russia and the United States, said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. He said that the last two countries “possess about 85% of the world’s nuclear weapons” – “more than ten times the published number of strategic nuclear warheads like China, Britain and France combined.”

Moreover, Kimball indicated that the escalating administration’s speech toward China amid the coronavirus pandemic would not help put it on the table.

In statements by the Hudson Institute last month, Billingsley rejected “the idea that China is not expected to participate in curbing nuclear armaments until they rise to the level of the United States and Russia” as an “old display of the logic of the Cold War.”

Kimball told CNN that the meeting of the United States and Russia to discuss nuclear arms control issues “is good, but that is not a reason to celebrate because the Trump administration’s stance seems to be the same”.

“They refuse to accept Russia’s offer to extend the new START treaty,” he said, noting that “it appears that they are still demanding new agreements that cannot be negotiated before the new START treaty expires, not only with Russia, but with China. So, I am not jumping upwards.” And down for joy. “

Last month, Ryabkov described the administration’s approach to the new START treaty as “very strange” and said “it would be in everyone’s interest” to extend the deal.

“My opinion on this is that the chances of continuing the new START treaty are fast approaching zero, and I believe that on February 5, 2021, this treaty will just end, and it will end,” he said. National interest.

In his remarks at the Hudson Institute, Billingsley said the administration hoped to avoid “an unnecessary cost increase in the context of the three-way arms race” between the United States, China and Russia, but warned that the United States was ready “to eliminate oblivion.” To overcome them.

Kimball said the comments reflected “a dangerous philosophy on nuclear weapons,” adding “nobody wins an arms race.”

Ryabkov said that Billingsley’s comments were noted.

He said, “We will never allow anyone to drag us into an arms race that exceeds our capabilities.” “But we will find ways of how this pressure will continue, both in terms of rhetoric and in terms of possible measures.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *