China overshadows nuclear treaty talks between U.S., Russia

June 22, 2020

NBC News

As U.S.-Russia talks on the future of the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals begin in Vienna on Monday, diplomats and experts warned that President Donald Trump’s insistence that China join the discussions could obstruct the renewal of a crucial treaty and might even precipitate a new nuclear arms race.

Russia’s lead envoy in the talks has told NBC News that the Kremlin does not currently believe the United States will extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START, ratified by President Barack Obama in 2011 and due to expire in February.

Washington has withdrawn from a number of other agreements between the two former Cold War foes since Trump took office.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said ahead of his arrival in Vienna that he rejected what he called the American position on “verification for verification’s sake.”

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