The United States Keeps Opening The Possibility Of Extending The START III
The administration of US President Donald Trump keeps opening the possibility of extending the strategic offensive arms reduction Treaty (START III). The final decision will be made, taking into account three factors, including China's agreement to join the agreement. The news appeared on Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal, referring to a source among US officials.
According to him, Trump could agree to the extension of the NPA if the parties make progress towards a new agreement that would provide for a strict verification mechanism, apply to all nuclear warheads, and include China. The source did not specify, however, what requirements the US President will ultimately determine the extension of the Treaty and what decision he will make in the end.
The publication recalls that on June 22, in Vienna, Russian-American consultations on strategic stability and arms control took place behind closed doors. The Russian delegation was headed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Ryabkov. At the head of the American delegation was the US President's special representative for arms control, Marshall Billingsley. The parties also discussed the issue of extending the STCW.
According to a newspaper source, the American delegation included the Deputy Head of STRATCOM. Representatives of the United States held a briefing on the issue of China's nuclear program in an attempt to persuade Moscow to influence Beijing and facilitate its involvement in us-Russian consultations. If a new agreement is reached, the US can issue it as a draft Treaty subject to approval by the Upper House of Congress. Washington is also considering the option of formalizing the agreement in the form of political obligations of all parties that are not legally binding, the publication specifies.
Billingsley said on Tuesday that Washington has not yet decided on the extension of the STCW. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said earlier at a briefing that attempts by the US authorities to involve China in negotiations on nuclear weapons with the participation of Russia and the US are absurd since Washington constantly seeks to violate its obligations under the existing agreement.
Russia and the United States signed STCW in 2010. It remains in force for ten 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.