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UN Secretary General Urges US, Russia to Agree on 'Common Path' for Intl Arms Control

© Sputnik / Mikhail Klimentiev / Go to the mediabankTrump-Putin Talks in Japan
Trump-Putin Talks in Japan - Sputnik International
UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday called on both the US and Russia to find a "common path" toward international arms control.

"The Secretary-General expresses his deep regret at the ending of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty," reads a statement from the official's office. "He has consistently called on both the United States and the Russian Federation to resolve their differences through the consultation mechanisms provided for in the Treaty and regrets they have been unable to do so."

"He notes that, in the current deteriorating international security environment, previously-agreed arms control and disarmament agreements are increasingly under threat," the release adds, before noting the Secretary-General's emphasis on the need for a "common path" in order to "avoid destabilizing developments."

The statement goes on to note that the office calls on both Russia and the US to "extend New START and to undertake negotiations on further arms control measures."

The statement comes moments after US President Donald Trump told reporters that he believes that a new nuclear missile pact should include both Russia and China.

"I've discussed it with [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin, I've also discussed it with China," Trump said. "I will tell you China was very, very excited about talking about it and so is Russia."

"We have been speaking to Russia about that, about a pact for nuclear, so they get rid of some, we get rid of some," Trump said. "We'd probably have to put China in there but right now we are number one, Russia is number two, and China is number three, but China is quite a bit down, in terms of nuclear China is much lower, but we would certainly want to include China at some point."

The United States’ relationship with Russia is good and both countries are trying to have a good relationship despite the hardship posed by the "phony witch hunt which is now dead", Trump said referring to the nearly three-year investigation that produced no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion or obstruction of justice.

"But, I will say, with Russia, if we could get a pact where they reduce and we reduce nuclear - that would be a great thing for the world, and I do believe that will happen," Trump said.

Trump pointed out that he has discussed with the leaders in Russia and China the prospect of reaching such an agreement and they have been very excited about it.

"So, I think we'll have a deal at some point", Trump said.

The latest remarks come hours after the US withdrew from the 1987 INF Treaty, which prohibited the deployment of ground-based nuclear weapons with a range of 500 to 5,000 kilometers. Russia announced its departure from the agreement shortly thereafter.

The United States announced in February that it would be suspending its obligations under the INF Treaty in six months if Russia refused to resume compliance with the accord's provisions.

In July, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a retaliatory decree halting Russia's participation in the INF Treaty.

Russia has repeatedly denied allegations that it violated the INF Treaty and said it was the United States’ defence systems in Europe were equipped with launchers capable of firing cruise missiles at ranges prohibited under the accord.

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