The United States Special Representative for Arms Control Marshall Billingsley noted the progress achieved during the meeting with the Russian side in Helsinki. He wrote about this on October 6 on his page in Twitter…
Billingsley thanked Finnish President Sauli Niinistö for his hospitality during the important nuclear arms control talks between the United States and Russia. “Important progress,” he concluded.
Another round of Russian-American consultations on strategic stability took place on October 5 in Helsinki. Previous negotiations, in which Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and Marshall Billingsley participated, took place on 17-18 August in Vienna.
On September 20, Billingsley announced Washington’s readiness to conclude a “presidential memorandum” with Moscow in the coming days, anticipating the extension of the START Treaty. At the same time, if Russia does not agree with the condition of the United States to extend the treaty now, then after the presidential elections, the White House may have new requirements, he added.
In Russia, the Americans’ statement was regarded as an ultimatum, which is unacceptable. In turn, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Moscow is ready for any development of the situation with the Treaty on the Reduction of Offensive Arms. The necessary systems and capabilities to ensure security by Russia have already been created.
In 2021, the Treaty on the Reduction of Strategic Offensive Arms (START-3), signed between Russia and the United States in 2010, will expire. Moscow insists on the extension of the agreement, but Washington puts forward a number of demands, including China’s participation in the new agreement. Beijing, however, points out that there is no reason to participate in the negotiations, since its nuclear arsenal is much smaller than that of the United States.