The previous disarmament contract between the two nuclear world powers expires. The United States would like to involve China in the renegotiations. But they don’t want to.
In the Vienna United States and Russia are negotiating a new nuclear disarmament agreement. The previous New Start contract, which regulates the limitation of strategic nuclear weapons, expires in February 2021. If this were not extended or a new agreement was concluded, there would be no contract for the first time in decades that would limit the stock of strategic nuclear weapons.
The talks – led by representatives of the foreign ministries – are mainly due to pressure from Russia. Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov called a new edition correct and logical.
The government in Moscow had warned several times about an uncontrollable arms race. The Russian ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, told the state agency Tass that the US should exit, but that Russia’s national security was not at risk. “Our answer will then be calm, calculated and balanced.”
One option would be to extend the contract for a limited time. Moritz Pieper of the Science and Politics Foundation writes in an analysis that this is possible for up to five years. “With such a deadline, there would be time to talk to a new US government about possible modification of the treaty after the US presidential election.”
The US also considers the current agreement to be outdated and is instead pushing for a multilateral agreement, in which China should also be involved. This would also create more transparency about the People’s Republic’s nuclear arsenal.
But the representatives from Beijing declined an invitation to Vienna. China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said recently: “As everyone knows, China’s nuclear power is not on the order of the United States and Russia.” It is “not the right time” for China to take part in talks on nuclear disarmament. First of all, the owners of the largest stocks are obliged.