An ICBM on parade in Moscow, May 2015. Photo copyright David Trilling.

An ICBM on parade in Moscow, May 2015. Photo copyright David Trilling.

An Advisor’s Perspective

Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to extend New START, an important arms control agreement, for a year without additional agreements. However, White House national security advisor Robert O’Brien called Putin’s offer a “non-starter”. The United States proposed extending New START for a year in exchange for the US and Russia capping all nuclear warheads during that year. O’Brien said his Russian counterparts appeared willing to accept this offer when he met with them in Geneva. However, President Putin’s proposal does not involve freezing nuclear warheads.

O’Brien believes Russia has threatened an arms race if they do not have a better proposal and adds, “The United States is serious about arms control that will keep the entire world safe. We hope that Russia will reevaluate its position before a costly arms race ensues”. Marshall Billingslea tweet this past Friday suggested talks between Russia and the US were over.

The Trump administration wants his team to reach a deal as Billingslea has indicated the President wants a deal done prior to the election. On the contrary, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Rybakov rejected that idea and mentioned there would not be an agreement from the Kremlin prior to the US election.

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