MOSCOW, May 14. /TASS/. There’s little likelihood that a trilateral agreement on nuclear arms reduction between Russia, the US and China could be reached in the current political climate, although holding talks on this issue between the leading world powers could be useful, Valdai Discussion Club Board Chairman Andrey Bystritskiy said in an interview with TASS.
"In my view, it is unlikely," he said. "Firstly, there are many more nuclear states, any treaty aiming to significantly reduce the nuclear armaments should include more countries. Secondly, Russia’s, China’s and the United States’ nuclear arsenals vary greatly. Russia and the US are armed better than China."
In the end, the expert believes that "[nuclear arms control] talks are possible, the progress in this regard is possible, but to reach a serious, comprehensive and inclusive treaty we have to come a very long way." At the same time, Bystritskiy believes that the idea of discussing nuclear armaments in a trilateral format is not devoid of sense. "The idea of three important global powers negotiating something is more of a positive development. Moreover, as they say in China, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step," he added.
Separate agreements between Russia, China and the US are possible, the expert believes, but in a broader sense, we should not rely on a trilateral format emerging, as the existing differences between the countries are too deep. "A stable union can’t be formed now. There are many reasons for that but, primarily, resources and capabilities of the countries vary. With all the economic developments of China, it cannot be compared to the US yet, Russia is a very small country economically speaking compared to the US and China. It’s a different story that Russia enjoys a solid reputation and acts decisively," he stressed.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump said China would like to become a party to the treaty on reducing nuclear arsenals between the United States and Russia. In late 2018, Trump suggested that a new treaty on intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles could be signed by the three countries. Moscow and Beijing said that no trilateral contacts on the armament issue are conducted.