Billingslea And Ryabkov May Meet In Vienna
The meeting of the US President's special representative for arms control Marshall Billingslea and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov is expected to take place in Vienna soon. This was reported on Thursday by the Wall Street Journal, citing a representative of the US administration.
As the newspaper notes, Billingslea and Ryabkov "are finalizing the approval of the agenda of the meeting, which will probably be held in Vienna." The article claims that they will, in particular, discuss US proposals regarding the conclusion of a new arms control Treaty with the participation of the Russian Federation, China, and the United States. "We agreed that as soon as possible, taking into account the coronavirus, we will meet to start consultations," - the words of a United States administration official are quoted in the material.
As the newspaper notes, Billingslea previously stated the need for the Russian side to help attract China to participate in the negotiations. As stated in the publication, " American officials made it clear that the United States plans to use leverage for this in the diplomatic, as well as possibly economic spheres."
Billingslea himself told reporters during a telephone briefing on Thursday that the place for the meeting with Ryabkov has already been chosen, noting that it is one of the European countries. "We are very eager to start negotiations with Russia and China. In this regard, my Russian counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov, and I had a serious and lengthy conversation preparing the basis for various topics to be discussed. [we] agreed to meet in person in Europe with our delegations as soon as the pandemic recedes. The place has been chosen, the agenda is being developed, " Billingsley said. The transcript of the briefing was distributed by the press service of the State Department.
Ryabkov told on May 11 that Russia is offering the United States to extend the Treaty on measures for further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms (START III) for five years, during which time it will be possible to develop a new mechanism.
The STCW was signed by Russia and the United States in 2010. It remains in force for 10 years (until February 5, 2021), unless replaced by a subsequent agreement before that date. The document can be extended for no more than five years, that is, until 2026, by mutual consent of the parties. Moscow calls on Washington not to delay the decision on the extension of the Treaty and describes it as the gold standard in the field of disarmament.