WASHINGTON, May 15. /TASS/. Washington and Moscow are beginning to discuss options for nuclear arms control, which is a positive sign, Executive Director of the Washington-based Arms Control Association Daryl Kimball told TASS, commenting on US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s visit to Russia. The Arms Control Association, founded in 1971, is one of America’s most well-known non-profit organizations calling for strengthening the global non-proliferation regime and disarmament.
"It is positive to see the two sides discussing options for nuclear arms control and it is notable that Secretary Pompeo said in the press conference that the two sides will engage in further talks on New START and broader nuclear arms control concepts," he said. "But any deal involving China, which has 300 nuclear weapons, or a new one between the US and Russia on issues beyond New START, would be very complex, difficult and time-consuming," the expert added.
According to Kimball, "a prompt decision by Presidents Putin and Trump on a five-year extension of New START, which will be difficult enough, should be the first step and is in the mutual interest of the Russian Federation and the United States."
New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), which was signed on April 8, 2010, and entered into force in 2011, stipulates that seven years after its entry 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 extended with the consent of the parties.
Moscow has called on Washington not to delay a decision on the extension of the Treaty that it considers to be the last golden standard in the field of disarmament.