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Russia seeks to continue dialogue with U.S. on nuclear treaty

Russia says it will freeze its number of nuclear warheads to extend the New START agreement, which expires in February. File Photo

Moscow, Russia | Xinhua | Russia on Wednesday confirmed its readiness to continue negotiations with the United States on the extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START).

“This topic is of strategic nature and global significance. It is in the interests of not only our two countries but also global security and stability,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a daily briefing.

He said Russia hopes that the dialogue with the United States will continue and their differences will be overcome.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that the country is ready to freeze its existing number of nuclear warheads along with the United States to extend the New START by one year.

The U.S. State Department then said it appreciated Russia’s willingness to make progress on nuclear arms control.

“The United States is prepared to meet immediately to finalize a verifiable agreement. We expect Russia to empower its diplomats to do the same,” it said in a statement.

In 2010, Washington and Moscow signed the New START, which stipulates limits to the numbers of deployed nuclear warheads and strategic delivery systems by both. The New START, the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty in force between the two nuclear superpowers, will expire on Feb. 5, 2021.

The agreement can be extended by a maximum of five years with the consent of the two countries. Without an extension, the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals would be unchecked for the first time since 1972.

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Xinhua

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