Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a meeting with permanent members of the Security Council, proposed extending the current Treaty on the Reduction of Offensive Arms (START-3) without any conditions for at least a year, according to the Kremlin's website.
As the head of state explained, this is necessary in order to be able to conduct meaningful negotiations on all parameters of the problems regulated by agreements of this kind, as well as not to leave the countries interested in maintaining strategic stability without such a fundamental document.
Putin instructed the Russian Foreign Ministry to formulate Moscow's position to its American partners and try to get a clear answer from them in the near future.
Earlier, the United States offered to extend START III in exchange for freezing nuclear arsenals. The Russian Foreign Ministry considered such an initiative unacceptable.
The US President's special envoy for arms control Marshall Billingsley, meanwhile, called on third countries to influence Moscow to accept American proposals.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, in turn, said that there is no reason to say that Washington is close to an agreement with Moscow.
Earlier, the source reported that the US presidential candidate from the Democratic Party, Joseph Biden, may, in case of victory in the elections, urgently extend the START-3 agreement with the Russian Federation.