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Putin says no clarity yet regarding prospects for extending New START

The Russian president also pointed to uncertainty around the Open Skies Treaty

MOSCOW, December 24. /TASS/. The prospects for extending the New START Treaty are still unclear, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the Russian Defense Ministry’s annual expanded board meeting. He noted that "the degradation of the arms control system gave rise to substantial concern."

"I have in mind not only the collapse of the INF Treaty triggered by the United States under a totally far-fetched pretext. Since November 2019, Washington has created uncertainty regarding its participation in the Open Skies Treaty. The prospects for extending the treaty on reducing strategic offensive arms remain vague as well," the Russian leader stated.

He added that "all this is happening against the backdrop of the growing capacity of the US global missile defense system."

Putin also pointed to persisting tensions in the Middle East, Afghanistan, on the Korean Peninsula and stressed that NATO continued to build up its military presence near Russia’s borders.

In view of that, Russia needs to strengthen its army and navy and focus on tackling the key issues in 2020, the president added.