China, Russia foreign ministers meet as countries stand ‘back to back’ amid rise in US tensions
The US President’s Special Representative for Arms Control announced Washington’s position before contacts with Moscow on the fate of START-3
US President’s Special Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea said in his first public appearance on Thursday that the US is “not interested in agreements for the sake of agreements” when it comes to strategic arms talks with Russia..
“We are not interested in agreements just for the sake of agreements. (The President of the United States) will not sign a treaty that does not reflect today’s reality or does anything to improve the real security of the American people, ”said Marshall Billingsley, speaking at an online event hosted by the Hudson Institute in Washington..
The White House Special Representative for Arms Control, appointed to this position on April 10 this year, noted: “Any potential renewal of our existing commitments must be linked to progress towards a new era of arms control. Of course, arms control, if properly structured and fully respected by all parties, can become an important tool for ensuring stability and security. “.
According to Marshall Billingsley, in the future, all nuclear weapons should be subject to control agreements, and China should be covered by such agreements: “Unlike the United States, which has significantly reduced the number of nuclear weapons. Beijing is in the process of significant build-up. Just a few days ago, the editor-in-chief of the Chinese newspaper Global Times wrote that China should expand its stockpile to 1,000 warheads mounted on at least one hundred and forty-one strategic missiles. The Global Times is the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party and is not independent. It is impossible for such a statement to be made without the tacit approval of high-ranking CCP officials. “.
A spokesman for Donald Trump said that, according to the US President, “effective and verifiable arms control is possible and worth pursuing, but the arms control agenda must take into account the threats and challenges of today, not the threats of the past. years, which means the inclusion of both Russia and China “.
“Russia must help bring China to the negotiating table. Both Russia and the United States are interested in this, “Marshall Billingsley said..
Billingsley criticized Russia, calling its arms control track record “deplorable”: he mentioned that Russia destroyed the INF Treaty by “creating and deploying clearly prohibited missiles”, violated the Chemical Weapons Convention by using a poisonous substance in the UK, and withdrew from the Treaty on Conventional Arms in Europe.
“To this day, Russia is violating the Open Skies Treaty and completely undermines the objectives of this confidence-building measure. She is dishonestly fulfilling the requirements of the Vienna Document on Notification (on the ongoing military exercises – ed.), And her attempt to annex Crimea and invade Ukraine is a flagrant violation of the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act “- said the special envoy of the US President.
At the same time, Marshall Billingsley praised the talks he recently had with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov: “We agree that it is extremely important to meet, discuss our concerns and goals, and find a way forward to start negotiations. We have specific ideas for our subsequent communication, and we agree on its details literally at this moment “.
The US President’s Representative for Arms Control, however, did not answer the moderator’s question about the position of the White House on the extension of the START-3 Treaty: “I would not talk about this at such an early stage of the negotiations – we still have plenty of time, to consider the range of opportunities associated with this treaty “.
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