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Russia warns U.S. that the end of nuclear arms control may be nigh

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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov arrives at the US mission in Geneva, Switzerland, January 10, 2022.Dennis Balibouz/Associated Press

Russia told the US on Monday that the last pillar of bilateral nuclear arms control could expire in 2026 with no replacement due to US efforts to inflict a “strategic defeat” on Ukraine’s Moscow. said to have sex.

Russia and the United States still possess vast arsenals of nuclear weapons, currently limited in part by the 2011 New START Treaty, which was extended until 2026 in 2021.

However, it is unclear what will happen after February 4, 2026, indicating that Washington hopes to reach a follow-on deal with Russia.

Asked if the Russian government can assume that there will be no nuclear disarmament treaty after 2026, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told the RIA’s new government agency:

Ryabkov, Russia’s top arms control diplomat, said the US has disregarded Russia’s interests in recent years and dismantled most of its arms control structures.

“New START is likely to fall victim to this,” Ryabkov told RIA. “We are ready for such a scenario.”

His remarks constitute a warning to Washington that continued military support for Ukraine could undermine the last major bilateral arms control treaty with Russia after the Cold War.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the United States has provided more than $27 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. This includes over 1,600 Stinger anti-aircraft rocket systems, over 8,500 Javelin anti-tank missile systems, and over a million 155 mm artillery shells.

“The entire security situation, including arms control, has been held hostage by the US line of inflicting strategic defeat on Russia,” Ryabkov said.

“We will use all methods and means to resist this in the strongest possible way.”

US-Russia talks on resuming inspections under the New START Treaty were canceled at the last minute in November 2022. The two sides have not agreed on a new consultation time frame.

Although constrained by a tangle of arms control agreements during the Cold War, Russia and the United States still collectively account for about 90% of the world’s nuclear warheads.

In its 2022 Nuclear Posture Review, the United States said Russia and China were expanding and modernizing their nuclear arsenals and Washington would pursue an arms control-based approach to thwart a costly arms race.

The New START Treaty limited the number of deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine ballistic missiles and heavy bomber warheads to 1,550 in both countries. Both sides reached their central limits by 2018.

“If the treaty expires without a subsequent agreement, Russia will be free to expand its currently restricted strategic nuclear forces, as well as new intercontinental reach and regional systems not currently restricted by the treaty. deaf,” said the U.S. Atomic Energy Agency. Posture review.

“Russia is pursuing several new nuclear response systems designed to endanger the US homeland or allies and partners, some of which will not be held accountable under the New START.”

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