MAJOR: Trump Drops Idea of Pushing China Into Arms Control Talks, New START Still Possible

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The most important negotiations between various government delegations from Russia and the United States in several years have come to an end in Vienna. The two parties discussed the issues of strategic stability and tried to hammer out “rules of conduct” in the new era.

The last day of the talks was marked by a small sensation. The United States, it seems, no longer insists on China’s involvement in arms control, Kommersant wrote. This could pave the way for the extension of the New START deal (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), the newspaper wrote.

This is a new approach by Washington. Previously, US officials have repeatedly insisted that further negotiations on limiting nuclear weapons should be conducted only with the participation of China. This was a key condition for their consent to Russia’s proposal to extend New START, which expires in 2021, for another five years.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Kommersant that joining the arms control negotiations should be China’s sovereign, and independent decision. Whether the sudden change in Washington’s mood affected the talks in Vienna, remains to be seen, Kommersant wrote. On Thursday, Moscow generally praised the meeting’s results.

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Andrey Baklitsky, an analyst at the MGIMO Institute for International Studies, stressed,

President Trump’s statements must be treated with caution, not all of them are being actually implemented.

But in general, the task of reaching some kind of compromise will shift from impossible to simply very difficult,” Baklitsky added.

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