WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States is ready to begin negotiating a new arms control framework with Russia once the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) expires if Moscow is willing to engage, State Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday.
“We are ready if Russia is ready to engage as a responsible nuclear power to start negotiating a new framework once New START expires in the coming years,” Price said during a briefing. “We see the value of New START, it is as valuable to us today and in some ways even more so than it has been in its lifetime.”
“We want to see the important parameters of New START continue to be implemented,” he added.
Price’s remarks come after Russia previously revealed it would suspend inspection obligations set out in the New START treaty after anti-Russian sanctions violated parity. The Russian Foreign Ministry, however, stressed that it would backtrack once all issues arising from the inspections are resolved.
Earlier, Russia’s deputy envoy to the United Nations, Andrei Belousov, acknowledged that it would be rather difficult to predict whether Russia would be able to reach an agreement with the United States on a treaty to replace the New START before it expires. Signed in 2010, the New START agreement is due to expire in 2026.