Kremlin Wants to Know Details of Trump's Arms-Control Initiative

(Bloomberg) -- Russia is interested in the details of a potential U.S. plan to push for new arms-control agreements, Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, told reporters Saturday in Beijing.

U.S. President Donald Trump has questioned the cost of maintaining a nuclear arsenal and has asked administration officials to prepare options for potential new arms-control agreements with Russia and China, the Washington Post reported April 25, citing an unidentified senior administration official.

Peskov said while it would be ideal to rid the world of nuclear weapons, such a move would also remove the “restraining parity” that guarantees that no nuclear power makes a “monstrous mistake.” There had been no contacts with Russian experts on the issue, he said.

The U.S. and Moscow are at loggerheads on nuclear weapons after Trump announced in February that he’s pulling out of a landmark Cold War-era treaty banning short- and medium-range missiles. The U.S. withdrawal from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, after accusing Russia of violating the pact, has raised the threat of a renewed missile build-up in Europe.

Russia has warned that time is also running out to begin talks on extending the other key nuclear weapons accord between Russia and the U.S., the New START treaty, before it expires in 2021.

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