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Trump administration will let arms reduction treaty with Russia expire - senior diplomat

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov pointed to the role of the Republican Party

MOSCOW, May 23. /TASS/. US President Donald Trump’s administration could allow the 2010 New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) with Russia to expire, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Bolshaya Igra (Big Game) program on Channel One on Saturday.

"The Trump administration will allow the 2010 New START to expire," Ryabkov said.

The senior diplomat pointed to the role of the Republican Party. "The US Republican Party is spearheading the efforts on destroying the regimes and agreements in the arms control field."

According to Ryabkov, Washington is trying to draw Beijing into talks on control over strategic arms. "The Trump administration seeks to use Russia in order to draw China into these talks," he noted.

The New START Treaty, which was signed by Moscow and Washington in 2010, stipulates that seven years after it goes into effect, each party should have no more than a total of 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and strategic bombers, as well as no more than 1,550 warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and strategic bombers, and a total of 800 deployed and non-deployed missile launchers.

The document is set to remain in effect until February 5, 2021, unless it is replaced with another agreement on nuclear arms reduction. It can also be extended for no more than five years (until 2026) with the consent of both parties.

Moscow calls on Washington not to delay solving the issue on a possible extension of the treaty, which it has described as "a golden standard" in disarmament.