16 Jul 2019 14:22

New nuclear arms treaty shouldn't be worse than New START, but there's only its outline now - Russia's Dzhabarov

MOSCOW. July 16 (Interfax) - Russia and the United Stated do not have much time left to draw up a new nuclear arms treaty, which should be comprehensive and should not be worse than the 2011 New START Treaty, First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Council's Foreign Affairs Committee Vladimir Dzhabarov said.

"It seems to me that the architecture of the new treaty is not yet clear to anyone. There is only its outline. Of course, it needs to be comprehensive and cover as many types of weapons and types of missiles as possible, as well as areas of their possible use and deployment," Dzhabarov told Interfax when commenting on upcoming Russia-U.S. strategic stability talks in Geneva on Wednesday.

According to media reports, at the Geneva talks the sides could discuss a new treaty limiting nuclear arms that could eventually include China.

"It is difficult to say how it will work out. If there is a new treaty, it should at least not be worse than the New START Treaty," Dzhabarov said.

This document should envisage the possibility of including new parties, too, the senator said.

"It's hard to say to what extent all this is realistic, because we are still at the very beginning of the road. It's good that at least some talks will start, because once the New START Treaty expires, the whole world will be left without any mechanisms to protect it from the start of any armed nuclear conflict," Dzhabarov said.

Russia always welcomes talks, he said.

The senator, however, declined to say whether it would be possible to involve China in negotiations on this new agreement.

"It's difficult to say anything regarding China. It has always pursued an independent policy, and I don't think that the Chinese are enemies of a peaceful process. Another thing is that China's nuclear potential is inconsiderable as compared with that of the two main nuclear powers. Probably, it thinks that it is entitled to some small nuclear arsenal of its own and doesn't want it to be covered by some treaty. But it is necessary to hold talks on all of these issues. Expert conclusions and assessments are needed. And then it will become clear what we can get in the end," Dzhabarov said.

China and Russia are equal partners that cannot exert pressure on one another, he said.

"But we can probably know their position. We will find it out and the Americans will be informed about it. But the Chinese are independent players. They will let their position known to the Americans themselves," he said.

The New START Treaty expires in 2021, Dzhabarov said, advising against delaying the start of talks on it.

"I think that any talks are urgently needed, because we have very little time left. We have little more than a year to draw up a new agreement. We need to hurry up," he said.