U.S., Russian envoys to discuss arms control in Austria next week

Russian military servicemen wearing protective face masks in front of a military armored vehicle which moves along a street prior to a night rehearsal of the Victory military parade in the Red Square, in Moscow, Russia, 18 June 2020. The military parade marking the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in the World War II will take place on the Red Square on 24 June 2020. The traditional troops parade as part of the Victory Day Parade which is annually held on 09 May, was cancelled due to Covid-19 epidemic in Russia. EPA-EFE/YURI KOCHETKOV

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U.S. Special Presidential Envoy Marshall Billingslea will travel to Austria on Monday and Tuesday to discuss “mutually agreed topics related to the future of arms control” with Russian Deputy Foreign Sergei Ryabkov, the U.S. State Department announced.

“The United States has extended an open invitation to the People’s Republic of China to join these discussions, and has made clear the need for all three countries to pursue arms control negotiations in good faith,” the State Department said.

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for China to join the United States and Russia in talks on a nuclear arms control agreement to replace the 2010 New START accord.

New START, which imposes the last remaining limits on U.S. and Russian deployments of strategic nuclear arms to no more than 1,550 each, expires in February.

China, estimated to have about 300 nuclear weapons, has repeatedly rejected Trump’s proposal.

Billingslea had said last week that he had agreed with Ryabkov on a time and place for the negotiations in June.

Via Reuters

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