RUSSIALINK: “Moscow, Washington not close to any agreement on New START – Russian deputy FM” – Interfax

Sergei Ryabkov file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 27 (Interfax) – Russia has not yet received any response from the United States to its proposals on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), and Washington is setting additional conditions, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Tuesday.

“We’ve met the U.S. halfway twice over the past few weeks. We haven’t received a proper response. Strictly speaking, the Americans have confirmed the position which they’ve worked out thus far, setting up extra conditions around the treaty’s extension and the idea of freezing, in favor of which the Russian Foreign Ministry spoke on the 20th [of October],” Ryabkov told reporters in Moscow.

“We’re continuing the dialogue, but the prospects for this dialogue are rather problematic, and I’d rather not make any predictions about the result of this dialogue right now. But we’re certainly not on the verge of any kind of agreement whatsoever, as of today,” he said.

When asked a follow-up question by Interfax as to whether Russia’s proposal on a mutual freezing of nuclear arsenals applies to tactical weapons, Ryabkov said: “It is freezing the number of nuclear charges, as our proposal puts it. And the attempts by the American colleagues amidst a package of those conditions and appendixes, and demands by which they support their signals encouraging us to look deeper into this kind of matter are an issue that complicates the dialogue.”

“We’re making steps to meet them halfway, increasingly specifying our position. However, we can see no reciprocal move toward us, only the multiplying of demands on us. So technologically, in terms of how the talks are going, we can’t keep on detailing our approaches, and we still need a response and steps toward us. Without it, we won’t discuss in terms of explaining what could happen,” he said.

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