Kampala, Uganda | XINHUA | Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Tuesday that the United States made it clear at a meeting held in Vienna that it has not yet decided on whether to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START).
“We did not feel that the Americans are ready to accept our logic in favor of an extension without preconditions,” Ryabkov was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency as saying.
He noted that there is little time left for the discussions as the New START, the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty in force between Russia and the United States, expires on Feb. 5, 2021.
He said that the United States insisted on China joining the agreement, while Russia explained to the Americans “in sufficient detail” that this is unrealistic.
Ryabkov said that Moscow respects Beijing’s well-known position of not participating in any trilateral arms control talks with the United States and Russia.
Therefore, the only way forward at this stage is to continue the discussion in the bilateral Russia-U.S. format, he said.
On Monday, Russia-U.S. consultations on arms control and strategic stability were held in Vienna, with delegations headed by Ryabkov and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea.
Ryabkov said the next round of consultations with Billingslea may take place at the end of July or beginning of August.