RUSSIALINK: “Moscow would benefit from Beijing’s involvement in strategic arms reduction talks – expert” – Interfax

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MOSCOW. June 4 (Interfax) – China’s involvement in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty will put Russia in a more advantageous position, and Moscow could share its experience of such talks with Beijing, Scientific Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of World Economy and International Relations Sergei Rogov said during an online session of the Primakov Hearings, which was held by the institute together with Interfax.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has conditioned the extension of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, also known as New START, on China’s involvement, Rogov said.

“This is silly, considering that Russia and the United States won’t reduce their nuclear armaments to China’s level. And we absolutely don’t want China to have as many nuclear weapons as we do. Besides, China has been refusing to hold talks, which could be used as a pretext for terminating New START and creating chaos in the field of nuclear arms,” he said.

This will lead to “the unregulated rivalry which existed before the Cuban Missile Crisis and until the signing of the first agreements in the early 1970s: the ABM Treaty, and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the Soviet Union and the United States,” Rogov said.

“I think it’s important that we try to explain to our Chinese friends that arms control is an area where one can protect one’s interests, not capitulate, but demand limitations on the most dangerous systems a potential adversary has,” Rogov said.

China has no experience of such negotiations, Rogov said. “We should share such experience and try to begin negotiations with the Americans together with China. That would put us in a more advantageous position, although in the U.S.-Chinese standoff, we should clearly […] act as the character who sits on the fence, wags its tail, and watches the fight between the elephant and the whale from above,” he said.