US-Russian New START Treaty unlikely to be extended - Bolton
The treaty expires in 2021 and the administration of US President Donald Trump reportedly remains undecided on whether to extend it, while Russia has repeatedly stressed that it is ready for dialogue, Trend reports citing Sputnik.
The agreement limits the number of deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, nuclear-armed bombers and nuclear warheads.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton confirmed on Wednesday that Washington will withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty on 2 August and claimed that the only remaining US-Russia arms control deal, the New START, was flawed and therefore unlikely to be renewed.
"This Friday will mark the official end of the INF treaty when the United States withdraws", Bolton said in his address at the 41st annual National Conservative Student Conference.
He alleged violations of the treaty by Russia, claiming that Moscow continues to develop advanced ballistic and hypersonic delivery systems while modernizing its inventory, and stressed that China continues developing intermediate-range arms while the United States has its "hands tied" by the INF.
He added that Washington was determined to negotiate both with Moscow and Beijing to achieve effective arms control.
Another nuclear agreement that Bolton touched upon in his speech was the New START, which he said was unlikely to be extended, albeit no final decision had yet been made.
"The New START nuclear agreement, which was ratified in 2010, was flawed from the beginning. It did not cover short-range tactical nuclear weapons or new Russian delivery systems. It is due to expire in February 2021, and while no decision has been made, it is unlikely to be extended. Why extend the flawed system just to say you have a treaty?" Bolton asked rhetorically.
He added that the United States is open to a new nuclear agreement that would include both Russia and China.