Uncertainty Around Future of New START Concerning - Lavrov

GENEVA (Sputnik) - Moscow is still waiting for Washington's response to the proposal to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) without preconditions, and ambiguity around the fate of the agreement is a cause of concern, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.
"The uncertainty around the future of the New START is a cause for concern. Last year, I told this very conference why we believe that it is important to preserve it," Lavrov said at the Disarmament Conference in Geneva.

The Russian top diplomat noted that the extension of the treaty would be a reasonable step preventing further deterioration of strategic stability and avoid a complete collapse of nuclear and missile non-proliferation mechanisms.

"Given all these circumstances, the Russian president has suggested that Russia and the United States extend the START Treaty without any preconditions. We are waiting for a response," he added.

This US Department of Defense (DOD) handout photo shows on August 18, at 2:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, when the Defense Department conducted a flight test of a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile at San Nicolas Island, California. - The test missile exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target after more than 500 kilometers of flight. Data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform DOD's development of future intermediate-range capabilities.  - Sputnik International
UN Under-Secretary-General Calls on US, Russia to Extend New START for 5 Years in Current Form
The New START is the only remaining legally binding US-Russian agreement on nuclear arms control, in force since 2011 and due to expire in February 2021 with a possibility to be renewed for another five years.

Russian officials have repeatedly said they were ready to renew the New Start, but the US administration has said it would prefer a new treaty that includes both Russia and China. Beijing, however, has rejected the idea.

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