Kremlin aide: Russia is open to possible new arms control deals with US

US President Donald Trump listens to a question as he speaks to reporters at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, March 29, 2019. — Reuters pic
US President Donald Trump listens to a question as he speaks to reporters at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, March 29, 2019. — Reuters pic

MOSCOW, April 28 — Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov, commenting on a media report that US President Donald Trump wants a new arms control deal with Moscow and Beijing, said Russia was open to the possibility of new arms control deals, but that there were no ongoing talks.

Citing administration officials, The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Trump has ordered his administration to prepare a push for a new arms control agreement with Russia and China due to the mounting cost of the 21st-century nuclear arms race.

Ushakov, in remarks to Russian state TV released today, said Moscow was ready to hold talks about the subject.

“Firstly, what exists already (by way of arms control agreements) needs to be honoured,” said Ushakov. “We are also ready for new ones, but for that serious negotiations are needed and unfortunately so far nobody has embarked on any.”

Ushakov’s words were more upbeat than those of a Kremlin spokesman who on Saturday dismissed Trump’s proposals on nuclear arms disarmament as “not serious.”

Relations between Moscow and Washington are strained and both countries have said they are quitting the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, stoking fears of a wider arms race. — Reuters

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