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The United States wants to strike a new arms control deal with Russia, China and possibly some other countries, US President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House before heading to Kentucky.
"We are looking at arms control right now. We are dealing with China, we are dealing with Russia. I think they would both like to do it especially as we are talking about nuclear weapons," Trump said answering a TASS correspondent’s question. "But we are looking at a major arms-control kind of an agreement right now with Russia and China and maybe somebody else," he noted.
Trump declined to answer a question whether Washington sought to extend New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty).
The New START Treaty, which was signed by Moscow and Washington in 2010, stipulates that seven years after it goes into effect, each party should have no more than a total of 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and strategic bombers, as well as no more than 1,550 warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and strategic bombers, and a total of 800 deployed and non-deployed missile launchers.
The document is set to remain in effect until February 5, 2021, unless it is replaced with another agreement on nuclear arms reduction. It can also be extended for no more than five years (until 2026) with the consent of both parties.
Moscow calls on Washington not to delay solving the issue on a possible extension of the treaty, which it has described as "a golden standard" in disarmament. However, the Trump administration has repeatedly signaled that the treaty’s extension was unlikely. However, it has not directly outlined its stance on this score.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the Financial Times that if this treaty ceased to exist there would be no other tools in the world containing the arms race.
In early November, Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned that there was no time left to shape a full-fledged substitute for the New START. Moscow is ready to discuss with Washington control over new types of strategic strike systems, which are not covered by this deal, it stated.