MOSCOW, August 2. /TASS/. Moscow has repeatedly highlighted the need to launch arms control talks as soon as possible but Washington is showing no interest in substantive contacts, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.
"Moscow has repeatedly highlighted the need to launch such talks as soon as possible because the time is running out," he pointed out, commenting on US President Joe Biden’s remark about the need for such contacts. "If the [Strategic Arms Reduction] treaty [New START] ceases to exist without being replaced with another solid document, it will have the most negative impact on global security and stability, first and foremost, in the field of arms control," Peskov added.
According to him, this is why the Russian authorities "have from the very start called for launching a conversation as soon as possible." "However, you know, it is the United States that is showing no interest in any substantive contacts, which are highly necessary," the Russian presidential spokesman noted.
Besides, "contacts can certainly be held only based on mutual respect, when the parties are ready to take each other’s concerns into account and listen to each other’s concerns," Peskov added.
On Monday, the White House released Biden’s statement ahead of the 10th Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The US president particularly said that his "administration is ready to expeditiously negotiate a new arms control framework to replace New START when it expires in 2026." Biden also noted that "the health of the NPT has always rested on meaningful, reciprocal arms limits between the United States and Russian Federation." He added that "even at the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union were able to work together to uphold our shared responsibility to ensure strategic stability."
Russia and the US signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in 2010. In February 2021, Moscow and Washington extended it for the maximum period of five years, until 2026.