State Department: New START Talks Between US, Russia Have Begun

Two sides agree to have an in-person dialogue after pandemic

US arms control negotiator Marshall Billingslea reported on Thursday that the US and Russia have begun early talks on the New START treaty, which is to expire early in 2021. He says the two sides have agreed to have an in-person dialogue.

Russian officials have warned that the treaty could expire, which would leave no limits on US and Russian nuclear arms. They have warned that with so little time left, the odds of extending the treaty in time are unlikely.

Billingslea is to meet Deputy FM Sergey Ryabkov on the treaty, saying a venue was decided on, and they will be exchanging views on the idea. Billingslea also added that the talks are conditional on Trump’s vision to get China involved too.

This has been a big stumbling block on the plan. Russia is okay with China’s involvement, and President Trump insisted it. China, however, with only a tiny fraction of the arsenal of those two, sees little reason to be in the treaty at all, or to limit itself.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.