Russian official: Another nuclear pact with US in trouble

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MOSCOW (AP) — Another U.S.-Russian nuclear pact is in danger following the U.S. move to withdraw from a Cold War-era arms control treaty, a senior Russian diplomat said Thursday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov charged that the U.S. refusal to negotiate an extension to the New Start treaty signals Washington’s intention to let it expire in 2021. He warned that time is running out to save the pact, which was signed in 2010 by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Ryabkov said that the U.S. has shown “no readiness or desire” to engage in substantive talks on extending the pact, which limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers.

U.S. Undersecretary of State Andrea Thompson argued in Wednesday’s phone call with reporters that there is enough time to discuss the treaty’s extension.

“We have until 2021,” Thompson said. “It is a relatively simple treaty to extend, so we have time with that.”

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