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  • Top US and Russian diplomats discuss new arms control agreement

    Top US and Russian diplomats discuss new arms control agreement

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed arms control and other issues Friday as Moscow has signaled readiness to include some of its latest nuclear weapons in the last remaining arms control pact between the two countries if Washington accepts the Kremlin’s offer to extend it.

    H/T: AP NEWS

    The Trump administration seeks the inclusion of China as a signatory to any new pact, but Russia sees this goal as unrealistic given the nature of China's smaller arsenal. From the article:

    The State Department said the two top diplomats discussed the next steps in the bilateral strategic security dialogue. Pompeo emphasized that any future arms control talks must be based on U.S. President Donald Trump’s vision for a trilateral arms control agreement that includes China along with the U.S. and Russia, the State Department said.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to extend the New START arms control treaty, which expires in February 2021. The Trump administration has pushed for a new pact that would include China as a signatory. Moscow has described that goal as unrealistic given Beijing’s reluctance to discuss any deal that would reduce its much smaller nuclear arsenal.

    Separately, the State Department on Friday sent to Congress a report on Russian compliance with the treaty. The report said that although Moscow is abiding by its terms, the accord does not cover enough weapons systems and leaves China with a free hand. It added, however, that the administration has not yet made a decision on whether to renew the treaty.

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