'Ball is in Russia's court' on nuclear arms deal, U.S. says
VIENNA (Reuters) - The United States has informed Russia of its terms for extending a landmark treaty that limits their deployed strategic nuclear weapons and expires in February, and now it is Russia's move, the U.S. envoy to arms control talks said on Tuesday. Those terms include addressing what Washington says is Moscow's build-up of shorter-range nuclear weapons that are not covered by the treaty, and making the verification system more robust, U.S
VIENNA (Reuters) - The United States has informed Russia of its terms for extending a landmark treaty that limits their deployed strategic nuclear weapons and expires in February, and now it is Russia's move, the U.S. envoy to arms control talks said on Tuesday.
Those terms include addressing what Washington says is Moscow's build-up of shorter-range nuclear weapons that are not covered by the treaty, and making the verification system more robust, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea told reporters in a telephone briefing.
"Russia understands our position. And what remains to be seen is if there is the political will in Moscow to get this deal done. The ball is now in Russia's court," Billingslea said after the latest round of talks in Vienna with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.
Washington has insisted that any deal to replace the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) must include China, but Billingslea appeared to soften that stance, saying a framework would be built that "can include China in due course".
Last year Washington withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, with senior officials saying Moscow had deployed a cruise missile across Russia in violation of the INF pact. Russia said the missile's range puts it outside the treaty. Washington now wants a deal covering all warheads.
"Russia stands for an extension of the START treaty, but is not ready to pay any price for that," Ryabkov said, according to his ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna on Twitter https://twitter.com/Amb_Ulyanov/status/1295705878654603264?s=20. Russia has no preconditions of its own, he added.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy; editing by John Stonestreet and Mark Heinrich)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.