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For Russia, China Wont Change its Position on Arms Talks with US

Wednesday 10 June 2020

MOSCOW (TASS) — Russia doesn’t see that China is ready for trilateral arms control talks with the United States and doesn’t think this position will be changed, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Tuesday.

Sergey Ryabkov
According to the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, the United States’ intention to involve China to bilateral arms control talks only complicates dialogue on that matter.
Sergei Bobylev / TASS)

During a videoconference of the New York Council on Foreign Relations, Ryabkov said:

We don’t see any Chinese readiness to do so and so we do not anticipate that this approach would change anytime soon.

And we do not intent to use whatever tools in our capacity to change this because it a sovereign choice of any country.

According to the Russian senior diplomat, the United States’ intention to involve China to bilateral arms control talks only complicates dialogue on that matter. He said that the extension of the New START Treaty will give time to work out measures of control over new types of weapons, including hypersonic arms:

In absence of any clear understanding, or more importantly, common understanding of what to do here, the easiest way to buy time would be to extend the existing treaty as ratified in 2010 in both capitals and then use the five years of this treaty extension to continue exchanges and find probably a better way to address all sorts of issues including those associated with new military technologies. We have many concerns of what is going on the in the American build-up. These are American missile defences becoming more and more global, these are perspectives for the US weapons in outer space, these are hypersonic weapons […] and many more.

[…]

All these issues require a very different approach to what has been before rather than arithmetic counting of warheads and delivery means.

Furthermore, Mr Ryabkov believes that it is hardly possible for more participants to join arms control agreements in the near future. The Russian diplomat reiterated that Russia and the United States should extend the New START treaty on a bilateral basis first. In his opinion, the scenario under which Washington’s unilateral actions lead to complete demolition of the arms control framework must be avoided.

New START
The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the New START Treaty) entered into force on February 5, 2011. The document stipulates that seven years after its entry into force, each Party should have no more than 700 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and strategic bombers deployed in total, as well as no more than 1,550 warheads on deployed ICBMs, SLBMs and strategic bombers, and no more than 800 ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers and strategic bombers deployed and non-deployed in total.

The New START Treaty will remain in force for 10 years, until 2021, unless it is replaced before that date by a subsequent agreement on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms. It may also be extended for up to 5 years (i.e. until 2026) by mutual consent of the Parties.

Moscow has repeatedly asked Washington not to delay the prolongation of the treaty, which it describes as the gold standard in disarmament.


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