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Al-Ahed Telegram

Russia: US Approach to Nuclear Talks Disappointing

Russia: US Approach to Nuclear Talks Disappointing
folder_openUnited States access_time12 years ago
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Source: Al-Manar TV, 3-2-2008
Russia is disappointed by Washington's approach to talks on renewing the START I arms treaty, which expires next year, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak said in an interview published on Sunday. "Today the situation is disappointing. Our colleagues have a different view of the task at hand," Kislyak was quoted by the Russian news agency Interfax as saying when asked about consultations with the United States on renewing the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
START I was drawn up by the United States and the Soviet Union to limit each side's intercontinental nuclear arsenals and was ratified in 1994 after modifications to take account of the Soviet collapse. It has a 15-year lifespan and so expires in December next year, although there is an option to renew.
Kislyak said Moscow wanted to take all "useful elements" from the treaty serving both sides' interests and reach a new accord that would "maintain reliability, stability and predictability in the strategic sphere." The US side set more store by another strategic weapons treaty, the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), he said. In contrast, "at the moment, we're more worried about the future, namely what will happen after 2009 in our relations with the United States in the strategic sphere," he said.
Russia and the United States have been at loggerheads over US plans to extend a missile defense system to the Czech Republic and
Poland. Washington says the plans are directed at "rogue states" such as Iran but Moscow says they threaten Russia's security.
Russia last year abandoned the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty that set limits on troop levels on the continent. President Vladimir Putin has also threatened to abandon the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which eliminated Russian and US shorter and medium range nuclear missiles.