U.S.-Russia all set to discuss nuclear arms limits in Geneva on Wednesday

Russian and the United State's Flag/ Image: Stock photos

The U.S. & Russian representatives are all set to meet in Swiss capital Geneva on Wednesday to find the possibilities of a new accord limiting nuclear arms that possibly include China, senior U.S. officials said on Monday.

President Trump has said that he would like to see a “next-generation” arms control deal with Kremlin and Beijing to cover all types of nuclear weapons. He has proposed both Putin & Jinping individually about this deal at the G20 summit in Osaka last month.

Beijing is not a party to nuclear arms pacts between the United States and Russia and it is unclear how willingly China would be to be drawn into talks, said the officials, who spoke to American media Reuters on condition of anonymity.

On this issue, China’s Foreign Ministry denied any of their interest in joining the talks. Geng Shuang, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman told media in Bejing, “At present, we cannot see the preconditions or basis for China participating in these negotiations between the United States and Russia.

According to the reports, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will head the delegation, which will further include Tim Morrison, a top aide at the White House National Security Council, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Security Agency and representatives from the Pentagon.

On the Russian side, Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, will lead the Russian delegation.

“We feel that – touch wood – we’ve got to a point where we can try to start this again,” one U.S. official said. “I say touch wood because we’re always just one incident away from unfortunately things getting derailed,” the official said.

In the post-cold war era relations between Kremlin and Washington have been sour for years, especially deteriorating after the Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian war.

Relations between two also tattered over the alleged Russian role in the poisoning of a former Russian spy Sergei and his daughter in Salisbury, UK. The detention of Ukrainian navy boats and crew near Crimea are among other reasons to widen the gaps.

This meeting in the Swiss capital will be just two weeks ahead Washington withdraws from the Cold War-era INF Treaty (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty) that required both nations to discard short-range and intermediate-range nuclear and conventional missiles.

Authorities in the U.S. believe Russia has developed and has deployed a ground-launched system breaching the INF treaty that could allow it to launch nuclear strikes on Europe at short notice. Kremlin has consistently dismissed any such violation.

U.S. officials also are not planning to discuss renewal of the 2011 New START treaty, an arms control pact between both the nations which limits deployed strategic nuclear weapons.

One of the U.S. officials told media it would be “premature” to talk about New START – which is set to conclude early 2021 but can be extended for five years if both sides agree, describing the issues a “next-year problem.”

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Akshat Verma

Akshat Verma is an Associate Editor at The Kootneeti. His area of interest includes India-Pakistan-China relations and Indian Foreign Policy. He can be reached at team@thekootneeti.com || Twitter: @akshat_ver

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