A senior Russian diplomat harshly criticised the US stance in arms control talks yesterday, saying it could further erode mutual trust and undermine global stability.
The US and Russia have begun talks on a successor deal to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty which expires in December 2009, but a cold spell in Russia-US relations has stymied talks.
By David Nowak
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Russian and US negotiators have failed to agree on which weapons should be counted under the new deal.
Russia wants to count missiles, bombers and submarines along with nuclear warheads fitted to them, as was done in the START I treaty, while the United States agrees only to count nuclear warheads, Ryabkov said.
“The implementation of the approach proposed by the American side can strip our bilateral relations of a key element – predictability in arms control – and badly destabilise the strategic situation,” Ryabkov said in a statement.
US officials argued that missiles, bombers and submarines mustn’t be subject to a nuclear arms control deal because they can also carry conventional weapons.
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