Leonid Slutsky, head of the Russian legislature’s international affairs committee, said Mr Putin’s proposal would remove pressure for an agreement before it expires and disconnect arms talks from election policy in the United States.
The Trump administration has ruled out a five-year extension without revisions, an option that would not require Senate approval. Mr. Trump considered it unacceptable because the treaty signed by President Obama did not cover all of Russia’s nuclear weapons or any of China’s.
China, however, has refused to participate in any revised version of New Start, arguing that its nuclear arsenal is too small compared to that of the United States or Russia.
While seeking to save New Beginning, Russia has shown little interest in giving President Trump a foreign policy victory ahead of the US presidential election, which is less than three weeks away, indicating, perhaps, that he expects Biden to win. Senior Russian officials have been mocked this week on Tuesday’s demands from Trump’s chief negotiator, Marshall Billingsla, for “an agreement in principle, at the highest levels of our two governments, to extend the treaty”
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei A. Ryabkov dismissed it as a fantasy. “Washington is describing what is desired, not what is real,” Ryabkov, Russia’s chief negotiator, said in a statement.
However, Russia’s outright ridicule of the alleged deal has left Moscow glaring and threatening to jeopardize Mr Putin’s long-standing efforts to portray his country as deeply committed to arms control – unlike the United States. which have avoided a number of agreements The past.
Mr Putin’s proposal on Friday, said Dmitry Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center and a veteran foreign policy analyst, suggested an effort to repair any damage to Russia’s image from this week’s controversy, rather than a genuine offer. probability of being acceptable.