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Russia to discuss tactical nuclear weapons only after US removes them from Europe — envoy

Anatoly Antonov confirmed that Russia and the US still have significant differences on key issues of the strategic agenda

WASHINGTON, October 26. /TASS/. The withdrawal of tactical nuclear weapons from Europe and the elimination of infrastructure for them are a precondition for a dialogue on such weapons between Russia and the US, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said, speaking at the International Advisory Council of James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies - CNS of Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (California) Monday. —

"A prerequisite for discussing non-strategic nuclear weapons is the withdrawal of US warheads of this class from Europe to the national territory, the elimination of the infrastructure for their storage and maintenance and the termination of the NATO practice of nuclear sharing missions," the diplomat said.

He confirmed that Russia and the US "still have significant differences on key issues of the strategic agenda." "For example, the US Side insists on expanding the current arms control regime based on New START. It seeks to cover all types of nuclear weapons. Here our American colleagues mean any deployed and non-deployed nuclear warheads on delivery vehicles of both intercontinental and other ranges. At the same time, Washington makes no secret of the fact that its priority in terms of limitation is our non-strategic nuclear weapons and newest strategic delivery systems," the Russian ambassador specified, adding that "Russia holds a consistent position in this regard."

"As for our newest strategic weapons, some of them have already been accounted or will be accounted for under New START. At the same time, we do not shy away from discussing the role and place of other strategic systems in future arms control regimes," the diplomat stressed.