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Russia ready for quick extension of last arms pact with US

By ET News

Moscow is ready for a quick deal with the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to extend the last remaining arms control pact, which expires in just over two weeks, Russia’s top diplomat said Monday.

Months of talks between Russia and President Donald Trump’s administration on the possible extension of the New START treaty have failed to narrow their differences. The pact is set to expire on Feb. 5.

Biden has spoken in favor of the preservation of the New START treaty, which was negotiated during his tenure as U.S. vice president, and Russia has said it’s open for its quick and unconditional extension

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference Monday that Moscow is ready to move quickly to keep the pact alive.

“The most important priority is the absolutely abnormal situation in the sphere of arms control,” Lavrov said. “We have heard about the Biden administration’s intention to resume a dialogue on this issue and try to agree on the New START treaty’s extension before it expires on Feb. 5. We are waiting for specific proposals, our stance is well-known and it remains valid.“

New START envisages the possibility of its extension for another five years, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow is ready to do so without any conditions.

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