30 Mar 2018 18:48

Ex-Russian Ambassador to U.S. Kislyak doubts U.S. will extend, ratify New START

MOSCOW. March 30 (Interfax) - There may be problems with the extension of the Russian-U.S. New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) in 2012 and its ratification in the United States, Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee first deputy head and former Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak said.

"The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty expires in 2021. The problem is that do we not completely understand what the [U.S.] president and his entourage think about the future of this agreement, because candidate Trump said on numerous occasions during his presidential campaign that this is the worst deal that could have been settled. But suppose even if we agree on extending this treaty, it's a big question whether the U.S. political class, that is, the White House and the Congress, can ratify this agreement," Kislyak said at the Stolypin Forum on Friday.

"I personally have serious doubts about that," he said.

"Many in the presidential administration have openly said this to me. Moreover, we were told on more than one occasion that the agreement could be extended through the presidents' executive orders, but we understood that the value of such agreements is quite different than that of the documents ratified by the parliament. And it turns out we were right: with the arrival of President Trump, we see that the new president has been annulling President Obama's executive orders one after another," Kislyak said.