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Russia calls out US over treaty

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MOSCOW: On Monday, Russia alerted the U.S. that the only surviving cornerstone of bilateral nuclear weapons control could reach its end in 2026 without a substitute, blaming American actions aimed at bringing about “tactical defeat” in Ukraine.

Although both nations possess massive stockpiles of nukes, currently, these are partially regulated by the 2011 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which was extended until 2026. However, the future beyond February 4th, 2026 remains hazy, though the U.S. has hinted it desires to secure a subsequent accord with Russia.

In response to the question of whether Russia foresees a lack of nuclear weapons control treaty after 2026, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov spoke to the state news agency RIA, saying: “It’s a rather possible outcome.”

As Russia’s chief arms control diplomat, Ryabkov stated that in recent times, the U.S. has disregarded Russia’s concerns and dismantled the majority of arms control architecture, and the New START may end up being the fall guy. “We’re prepared for such a possibility,” Ryabkov added.

These comments from Ryabkov serve as a cautionary tale to the U.S. that its ongoing military backing for Ukraine could endanger the last substantial bilateral arms control treaty with Russia post-Cold War.

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