Putin and Trump Photograph:( Reuters )
The pact limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers, and envisages sweeping on-site inspections to verify compliance
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday proposed that Moscow and Washington extend for a year and without any conditions New START, the two nations' last major nuclear arms accord.
"I have a proposal -- which is to extend the current agreement without any pre-conditions at least for one year to have an opportunity to conduct substantial negotiations," Putin said at a meeting of his security council, according to a Kremlin statement.
Moscow outlined that the extension of the treaty would be in the interest of the entire world community and that the nation is interested in avoiding a new missile crisis in Europe and other regions.
The New START treaty (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) accord was signed in 2010 by US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
The pact limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers, and envisages sweeping on-site inspections to verify compliance. It had replaced the Treaty of Moscow (SORT), which was to expire in 2012.
Russia previously offered its extension for five years without any conditions, while the US Administration pushed for a new arms control agreement that would also include China. Moscow has described that idea as unfeasible, pointing at Beijing's refusal to negotiate any deal that would reduce its much-smaller nuclear arsenal.
Earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov voiced skepticism about reaching a deal on New START, noting that Russia can't accept the conditions put forward by the United States for its extension.