TEHRAN (Iran News) – Russia is ready to freeze nuclear warheads alongside the United States to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) by one year, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
“Russia is suggesting that the New START be extended by one year and is ready to undertake the political commitment, alongside the United States, for both sides to ‘freeze’ the existing number of nuclear warheads during that period. This may be implemented if and only if it is understood that the ‘freeze’ on the warheads will not be followed by any additional demands on part of the United States,” the ministry said.
Russia has not yet received any official answer from the United States to the proposal to extend the New START nuclear arms reduction deal by one year, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, noting that it has only seen some comments by US officials on social networks, Sputnik reported.
“The Russian side has not received an official answer from the US to the note, issued on October 16, in which President Putin’s proposal to extend the New START by one year was formulated. We have only seen separate comments by US officials on social networks,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry added that it was expecting an official answer.
Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin invited the US to extend the New START by one year without any conditions amid the looming expiration of the deal in February.
However, soon after the proposal was voiced, US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said that without freezing nuclear warheads such an extension would be a non-starter.
The New START, signed in 2010, is the only currently valid Russian-US arms reduction deal. The treaty expires in 2021 and the United States remains undecided on whether to extend it or not, while Russia has repeatedly stressed that it is ready for dialogue.
The day before, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that the Kremlin would prefer the United States to announce its readiness to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
- source : Tasnim, Iran News