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Oct 17, 2020
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“Must be a priority”: the UN expressed hope for the extension of START III by Russia and the United States

The UN hopes for an extension by Russia and the United States of the treaty on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms (START III). This was stated by the official representative of the Secretary General of the organization Stephane Dujarrick. The document expires on February 4, 2021. Earlier, Vladimir Putin called for an extension of the START III treaty without any conditions for at least a year. According to him, the document fulfills the fundamental role of limiting the arms race. At the same time, the US National Security Council called Putin's initiative "doomed to failure." According to Russian parliamentarians, Washington's position is influenced by the upcoming elections, while Moscow is doing everything in order to preserve the methods of limiting nuclear weapons.

The UN hopes for an extension by Russia and the United States of the treaty on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms (START III). This was stated by the official representative of the Secretary General of the organization Stephane Dujarrick.

“I do not want to comment on certain positions that each side can take. According to the Secretary-General (UN Antonio Guterres. - RT), the extension of START III should be a priority. We very much hope that the parties - Russia and the United States - will agree on further steps, ”RIA Novosti quoted Duzharrik as saying.

Earlier, Vladimir Putin made a proposal to extend the current treaty on the reduction of strategic offensive arms for at least a year without any conditions. The head of state spoke about this at a meeting with permanent members of the Russian Security Council.

“I have a proposal, namely, to extend the current agreement without any conditions for at least a year in order to be able to conduct meaningful negotiations on all parameters of the problems that are regulated by such agreements,” Putin said.

The President pointed out the undesirability of terminating the treaty in the absence of any such substitute document.

“All previous years, the START III treaty worked, worked properly, fulfilled its fundamental role of limiting, curbing the arms race, controlling arms,” Putin said.

He drew attention to the fact that Russia has new weapons systems that the United States does not have. At the same time, the President pointed out that this does not mean that the Russian side refuses to discuss this aspect.

Putin turned to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a request to convey his position to the United States.

“Please, formulate our position to our American partners and in the very near future try to get at least some intelligible answer from them,” the president said.

The Foreign Minister promised to carry out the order as soon as possible. At the same time, during the meeting of the Security Council, Lavrov pointed out that by now all the other instruments for maintaining strategic stability "have already been destroyed or are being proposed by the Americans for termination."

Later, the US national security adviser Robert O'Brien called the proposal to extend the agreement for a year as doomed to failure.

“We hope that Russia will reconsider its position before the costly arms race breaks out,” he added.

According to him, the United States proposed an extension for a year in exchange for the fact that both countries would set limits on the number of nuclear warheads during this time.

“It would be a victory for both sides. And we thought the Russians were ready to accept that offer when I met with my colleague in Geneva, ”he added.

Vladimir Dzhabarov, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, noted that additional procedures would not be required to extend the treaty according to the option proposed by Russia.

"Congress and our Federal Assembly would approve, vote, it would continue to operate," he said.

First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots Viktor Vodolatsky expressed the hope that the agreement would still be signed.

“I hope that prudence will prevail among the representatives of the US administration and an agreement for an extension for a year will be signed so that the world can breathe a sigh of peace. And then, after the presidential elections in the United States, it was possible to sit down at the negotiating table, regardless of how it would affect the votes or supporters ... Russia and the United States, ”he concluded.

START III

Recall that the START III treaty was signed in 2010 by the then leaders of Russia and the United States, Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama. Under the terms of the agreement, the parties pledged to reduce the number of deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine ballistic missiles (SLBMs) ​​and heavy bombers to 700 units within seven years.

The number of warheads on deployed launchers should not exceed 1550. At the same time, the number of deployed and non-deployed launchers should not exceed 800 units.

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The document provides for the right of each participant to independently determine the composition and structure of their strategic weapons, as well as to modernize them. The agreement expires on February 4, 2021, but it can be extended for another five years.

In mid-October, a new exchange of views on the extension of START III took place between representatives of Moscow and the White House. Thus, the United States declared its readiness to extend the agreement with Russia, subject to a temporary freeze of the size of the nuclear arsenals of the two countries. This was stated by the special representative of the American president for arms control Marshall Billingsley.

“We are ready for a deal, we can reach it tomorrow, but Moscow also needs to demonstrate the political will to do it,” said a White House spokesman.

In Russia, the US proposal was called unacceptable. As Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated, the issue of arms control should be considered comprehensively.

“The US position in favor of freezing has long been known to us, it is unacceptable for us. Not because we are against freezing, but because it is necessary to deal with the problems of strategic stability in a complex, ”the deputy minister said.

He explained that the complex means a discussion of the status of space weapons, missile defense, as well as new American strategic-range carriers in conventional equipment.

The deputy foreign minister added that Moscow does not intend to provide Washington with an agreement "timed" to coincide with the US presidential vote.

Commenting on the situation around the treaty, Sergei Tsekov, a member of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, pointed to Russia's responsible position.

“Russia is very responsible in this matter. And the Russian leadership is doing everything to preserve these treaties, and, thus, to give hope, to give a certain chance that the methods of limiting nuclear weapons have been preserved at least in some capacity, "the senator said in an interview with RT ...

Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine, noted that Moscow is flexible in the situation with the extension of START III.

“We see the flexibility of the Kremlin. President Putin proposes to extend the agreement for at least a year, because the term is already running out ... The main goal of Russia is to maintain global strategic stability, ”the expert emphasized.

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