Russia: No Indication US Willing to Extend New START After Expiration

Deputy FM: Deal is a safeguard for strategic stability

The New START treaty, a major nuclear arms reduction deal, is set to expire in February. Russian officials say that seems to be what’s going to happen, as despite talk of extensions, they’ve “not received any signals from Washington that could indicate a willingness to extend New START after it expires.

The comments came from Deputy FM Sergey Ryabkov, who says he believes the deal is a safeguard of strategic stability not just for the signatories, but for everyone else as well. US officials had suggested they wanted China included in the treaty as part of renewing it.

There is no sign that’s going to happen. China has vastly fewer arms than the US and Russia, and sees no reason why they should be involved. Since China signaled disinterest, the Trump Administration stopped talking about it as well.

With the US already withdrawing from Intermediate-Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), the loss of New START too could raise the risk of an expensive new arms race. Though officials sometimes downplay that risk, they clearly aren’t making the moves needed to avoid it.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.